Friday August 18 2017
Five crucial fixtures for… Milan

Ahead of this weekend’s Serie A kick-off, Football Italia looks at the crucial fixtures for the top sides, and it’s a big season for Milan.

The Rossoneri have spent big this summer after the arrival of their new Chinese owners, with the likes of Leonardo Bonucci, Lucas Biglia and Franck Kessié coming in.

A top-four finish is the absolute minimum aim, with Milanisti daring to dream of a first Scudetto since 2011.

Here are the games which could prove decisive for the Diavolo.

Lazio-Milan [Week 3]

On paper, debuting away at Crotone before welcoming Cagliari to San Siro represents a favourable start for Vincenzo Montella and his players.

The first true test of the new Rossoneri will therefore come when they visit Lazio in their third game of the Serie A season.

The Biancocelesti finished seven points above Milan last season, and this will be good yardstick to measure their improvement after the summer recruitment drive.

Inter-Milan [Week 8]

Both Milan sides are confident of mounting a serious challenge this year, and they meet for the first time this season in Week 8.

Last second Derby della Madonnina of last season was controversially moved for Chinese television coverage, but the action on the pitch assuaged most concerns.

The Nerazzurri’s owners, Suning Group, have been more conservative in the transfer market than Yonghong Li and his group, and it’ll be interesting to see contrasting approaches go head-to-head.

Milan-Juventus [Week 11]

Big-spending Milan look set to challenge the Bianconeri for the Scudetto this season, and the two meet for the first time just before Halloween.

Leonardo Bonucci will line up against his former side for the first time after his shock €40m transfer this summer.

By this point we’ll have had 10 games of the league season, and should have an idea of the runners and riders in the title fight.

If, as expected, both sides are in the mix we could be in for a real firecracker atmosphere at San Siro.

Milan-Napoli [Week 32]

A potential Scudetto six-pointer awaits in Week 32, as Napoli visit San Siro.

Both sides have a realistic chance of knocking Juventus off their perch, and any dropped points at this stage of the season could make or break a title charge.

The Rossoneri have managed just one draw in the last five meetings, conceding 14 and scoring four, but they’ll expect to put up much more of a fight this time around.

Milan-Fiorentina [Week 38]

It looks like being a momentous final weekend in Serie A, and Milan have a potentially tough fixture as the Viola come calling.

It’s hard to tell how Stefano Pioli’s side will perform, given half of last season’s squad has been sold, but Fiorentina have been consistent European challengers in recent years.

Montella left the Stadio Artemio Franchi under something of a cloud, and this could be a fiery final match, especially if the Scudetto is on the line.

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