Two teams with somewhat disappointing results in Serie A (SA) go head to head in Firenze as the year comes to an end. Fiorentina have not lost in the last six league matches, but have failed to get the winner in four of them. AC Milan, on the other hand, come into this game on the back of two very disappointing league defeats against Verona and Atalanta.
Both teams played in the Coppa Italia in midweek. Fiorentina were beaten away against Lazio, while AC took a memorable extra time victory against fierce rivals Inter. Notably, AC played their match one day later than Fiorentina and played 120 minutes – they head into this difficult away match with only two days of rest.
Milan coach Gennaro Gattuso had some thoughts about the importance of the recent derby win ahead of the Fiorentina match: “For these boys, the derby was as important as breathing. This win doesn’t change a lot of things, but it’s a morale booster. It would have been a pity not to deliver what these players have inside them. We can now work more serene and let’s focus on taking home a win in Florence.”
Fiorentina drew 0-0 against Genoa in their last match in front of their own fans – the first time this season they’ve failed to score when playing at home. So far they’ve scored 14 goals in eight home matches, scoring 2+ goals in five of the eight.
Playing away, it’s either or for AC. In nine games, they’ve only drawn once: the famous 2-2 draw against Benevento, where AC became the first team this season to drop points against the forlorn bottom dwellers.
A classic fixture in SA, these teams usually go at it: in the last six H2H matches, there’s been a total of 35 yellow cards (5.83 on average) and one red. Tight and closely fought, the games are short on goals, with an average of 2.0 across those six H2H matches. This SA season, both teams rank among the lower half in terms of yellow cards awarded, but there is one notable difference: Milan players have seen the red card a league high four times, while Fiorentina have only been awarded one.