Milan host Bologna at the San Siro in Serie A on Monday hoping to bounce back from their recent defeat away at Torino.
Their 2-0 loss meant they were leapfrogged by the Turin side and missed the chance to move into the top four and slipped to seventh in the table.
With just four fixtures left to play, Gennaro Gattuso faces a fight on his hands to secure Champions League football next season, with victory in their home game against 14th place Bologna vital if they are to get back into the European slots.
Here's 90min's preview of Monday's clash in Serie A.
Where to Watch
|When Is Kickoff?||Monday 6 May|
|What Time Is Kickoff?||19:30 (BST)|
|Where Is It Played?||San Siro|
|TV Channel/Live Steam||Premier Sports 1|
Milan confirmed this week that central defender Mattia Caldara underwent knee surgery and will be sidelined for six months in a big blow for Gattuso's side.
The defender will join midfielder Giacomo Bonaventura, who has been out of action since November after knee surgery of his own. If the defeat to Torino wasn't damaging enough, the club will be without suspended captain Alessio Romagnoli, who was shown a red card for dissent in the match.
Adam Nagy will be missing for the visitors after sustaining an unknown injury during training, while Siniša Mihajlović will also be without Roberto Soriano and Ibrahima Mbaye who are both suspended for the encounter.
|Milan||Donnarumma; Monti, Musacchio, Abate; Calabria, Kessie, Bakayoko, Paqueta; Suso, Piatek, Castillejo.|
|Bologna||Skorupski; Paz, Danilo, Lyanco, Dijks; Pulgar, Dzemaili, Orsolini, Poli, Sansone; Palacio|
Head To Head Record
In clashes between these two, Bologna have typically struggled in recent times, having won just one game against Milan in 18 attempts.
These two sides faced each other near the end of last season when the Rossoneri came out 2-1 winners against the Serie A minnows and in the most recent clash between them, Bologna held their opponents to a 0-0 draw in which Tiemoue Bakayoko saw red.
Milan have failed to score against Monday's opponents just four times in their 22 meetings in history, and will be desperate to score again as they go in search of desperately needed points.
Gattuso's men are on a torrid run of form across all competitions. One win in their last eight games has seen the club eliminated from the Coppa Italia semi finals at the hands of Lazio, while also dropping out of the Serie A top six with a string of limp performances.
Their only win in their last eight games was a league clash against Lazio, with Franck Kessie netting from the spot to give the home supporters at least something to cheer about.
Defeat away at Torino has had the greatest effect, however, with the Turin outfit overtaking Milan into sixth and leaving the San Siro club rotting away in seventh, knowing victory would have moved them up to joint fourth.
Meanwhile, they come up against a Bologna side in good form and without defeat in their last four matches. A 0-0 draw with Fiorentina sandwiches three wins over Empoli, Sampdoria and Chievo, in which the club netted three times on all occasions.
This is how each team fared in their past five matches in all competitions.
|Torino 2-0 Milan (28/04)||Bologna 3-1 Empoli (27/04)|
Milan 0-1 Lazio (24/04)
||Bologna 3-0 Sampdoria (20/04)|
|Parma 1-1 Milan (20/04)
||Fiorentina 0-0 Bologna (14/04)|
Milan 1-0 Lazio (13/04)
||Bologna 3-0 Chievo (08/04)|
|Juventus 2-1 Milan (06/04)||Atalanta 4-1 Bologna (04/04)|
Milan, quite frankly, are in dire straits. Some lacklustre and limp displays have threatened to derail their season entirely, after defeat in the Coppa Italia means a top four finish is the best they can hope for.
Even that's beginning to look unlikely given the form the sides around them are starting to hit. They now come up against a Bologna side bang in form and eager to claim a big scalp winning away at the San Siro.
Because of that, this could be an even contest, as Milan do possess plenty of quality - even if it hasn't been evident in recent weeks.
Prediction: Milan 1-1 Bologna