AC Milan vs Monza

For the first time since acquiring the ownership of AC Milan in 1986, Silvio Berlusconi returns to the Stadio San Siro as an opponent, with Monza taking on their fellow Lombard rivals in their maiden Serie A encounter.

Stefano Pioli’s men are in a prime position to extend the former Italian Prime Minister an unpleasant welcome after a 2-1 beating of Hellas Verona last weekend made it five wins from six Serie A matches for the reigning champions (L1). Defending the Scudetto won’t be a simple task, but a three-game winning league streak suggests a three-point gap on pacesetters Napoli is not unbridgeable for this high-flying Milan side. It’s likely that they’ll make it four in a row, considering they’ve won their last six top-flight showdowns against newly-promoted sides without conceding a single goal. Curiously, the last time ‘I Rossoneri’ picked up seven wins from the opening ten Serie A rounds as a defending champion in 1992/93, they went on to conquer the league.

In the meantime, Empoli’s narrow 1-0 home triumph knocked visiting Monza down from a three-match winning Serie A streak, putting the break on Raffaele Palladino’s 100% touchline start. But ‘I Biancorossi’ took no time to bounce back as they claimed a phenomenal 3-2 win at Udinese in midweek Coppa Italia action, proving their top-flight credentials against one of the most in-form sides in Serie A. Up-and-coming head coach Palladino craves for more of the same after his men won just once on their five league road trips this season (D1, L3). Yet scoring has been a major issue for Monza this season as they’ve failed to get on the scoresheet in three of their away away league fixtures to this point.

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