Fiorentina vs. AC Milan Preview 9 AM ET Sunday May 31, 2009
By: Jason Green at Predictem.com
In the last match day in Italy Series A Fiorentina hosts AC Milan at Stadio Artemio Franchi in Florence. Both of these teams will finish in the top 4 of Series A, which means they will play in the Champions League next season. This is an important match for Fiorentina, as if they lose, draw, or win by only 1 goal they will finish 4th and will have to play a preliminary round at the end of the summer. Fiorentina will have to win by at least 2 goals in order to get to 3rd place in the domestic league.
Milan does not have to win, as all they have to do is draw and they will secure 3rd place. Milan has not won in 3 games and they lost to AS Roma last week in Paolo Maldini’s last match at San Siro. AC Milan would love to send him off with a victory, as Maldini will be retiring at season’s end.
Both teams want a victory in order to go out on a high note for the season. Even if Fiorentina does not win by 2 goals they will not play a powerhouse team in the preliminary Champions League round, but anything can happen and Fiorentina does not want to be relegated to playing in the New Europa League, which is the new version of the UEFA Cup.
Fiorentina Recent Form:
4/25 Fiorentina 4-1 Roma
5/3 Fiorentina 1-0 Torino
5/10 Catania 0-2 Fiorentina
5/17 Fiorentina 1-0 Sampdoria
5/24 Lecce 1-1 Fiorentina
AC Milan Recent Form:
4/26 Milan 3-0 Palermo
5/2 Catania 0-2 Milan
5/10 Milan 1-1 Juventus
5/16 Udinese 2-1 Milan
5/24 Milan 2-3 Roma
Fiorentina is the slight favorite in this match posted at 2.40 with AC Milan as the underdog posted at 2.7 with a draw at 3.10.
Fiorentina will be without Emiliano Bonazzoli, Mario Santana and Adrian Mutu due to injury. Felipe Melo and Dario Dainelli will also miss this final match due to suspension.
For AC Milan Kakha Kaladze, Marco Borriello and Christian Abbiati are all match fit, but they will not play in this match. David Beckham hurt his ankle this week in practice and will not play and Daniele Bonera is still out with a long-term injury. Massimo Ambrosini will not play, as he is suspended for this match.
Fiorentina forward Alberto Gilardino was with Milan for several seasons and was not supported by the fans, so he will have a lot of motivation facing his old team. He played well this season for Fiorentina and a win, especially scoring a goal, would be sweet revenge. He will be the main guy on offense for the home team, since Adrian Mutu is out with an injury.
Riccardo Montolivo has not had the best of seasons for Fiorentina and a solid game in the season finale could help his confidence for next season.
AC Milan may have to get their offense from the duo of Filippo Inzaghi and Alexandre Pato since Kaka will be tightly marked by the Fiorentina for the whole match.
With the Fiorentina D focusing on Kaka, Andrea Pirlo will have to look to set up the goals with his passing from midfield.
Milan’s defense will have to play better then they did last week when they game up 3 goals to AS Roma. Fiorentina will be attacking all game since they have to win by at least 2 goals, so there will be that much more pressure on Milan’s defense.
Considering that Fiorentina will focus on scoring they have to be careful of a quick counter strike from Milan.
Jason’s Pick: AC Milan will not be at full strength and there is not much motivation for them in this match besides sending off Paolo Maldini with a win. On the other hand Fiorentina is pumped and really wants to secure third in Series A. I see Fiorentina going out and scoring a couple early goals, as I think a score of 3-1 or 4-1 is a good possibility, as they will accomplish their goal of a 2 goal win.