The Italian Serie A continues this weekend after Coppa Italia in midweek, and the matchup between Udinese and Milan attracts plenty of attention due to a close gap between the two sides.
Both teams are fighting for European football next season and although it is not expected to see them in the Champions League, the No. 6 spot that leads to the Europa League is up for grabs. The clash between Udinese and Milan is taking place at Friuli on Sunday, February 4th.
Udinese vs. AC Milan
Three-Way: 1: Udinese +229; X: +239 Draw; 2: Milan +114 at BetDSI Sportsbook
Spread +0.5:Udinese -156; Milan +120
Total 2.5 goals: Over +104; Under -133
The Little Zebras ended the negative streak of three matches without a Serie A win with a 1-0 victory over Genoa on the road, thanks to Valon Behrami’s rebound in the 62nd minute. The Brazilian defender Samir received a straight red card only three minutes later, but Udinese managed to fight off the inefficient hosts to secure important three points. Massimo Oddo’s side is in the 9th position with 32 points, just two behind Milan and five behind Sampdoria who is sitting in the Europa League spot.
Udinese played 25 games so far in the 2017/18, recording 12 victories, two draws, and 11 losses, with a goal difference of 46:35, which is 3.24 goals per contest on average. The Little Zebras are undefeated in the previous three matches at Friuli, winning two along with a draw, scoring seven and allowing only one goal in the process.
Kevin Lasagna is the team’s top scorer with nine goals in 22 appearances; Antonin Barak is following him on a goal-scoring chart with seven goals, while the experienced striker Maxi Lopez added six goals to his name. The Argentinean winger Rodrigo de Paul is the most creative individual at Friuli with seven assists at the moment; Jakub Jankto has six dishes to his name, while Lasagna recorded five assists. Massimo Oddo cannot count on the right-back Silvan Widmer who is out injured, as well as Ali Adnan who is sidelined with a muscle setback, while the Brazilian centre-back Samir is suspended for this tilt.
The Red and Blacks are in a fine form of six matches without a defeat and they won the previous three Serie A games, including the latest one over Lazio. Milan beat Simone Inzaghi’s side as Patrick Cutrone and Giacomo Bonaventura scored the first-half goals, while Andrej Marusic put the visitors on the scoreboard. The Rossoneri defended well after the interval and although Lazio was better in the second 45, the hosts fought for crucial three points that sent them to the 7th position with 34 points, three behind Sampdoria. Gennaro Gattuso’s men are playing evidently better since Vincenzo Montella’s sacking and defending is particularly pleasing as Milan conceded only three goals in the past six matches. Milan and Lazio played once again in Coppa Italia’s semi-finals the first leg, but this clash ended scoreless, 0-0, which is not a bad result for Milan prior to the returning leg in Rome.
AC Milan played 35 games in this campaign, recording 19 victories, seven draws, and nine losses, with a goal difference of 57:35, which is 2.62 goals per contest on average. The red and Blacks have not been in a good form on the road recently as they won only one out of the previous five matches in Serie A, but they beat Cagliari 2-1 in the latest away game.
Patrick Cutrone is the team’s leading scorer with ten goals in 27 appearances; Andre Silva contributed with eight goals so far, while Suso has seven goals to his name. However, the Portuguese Silva is still searching for his first Serie A goal as all of his goals came in the Europa League, so he is a man to watch on this one. The former Liverpool winger Suso is the best assist-maker with nine dishes so far, while Fabio Borini and Hakan Calhanoglu added seven assists apiece. Gennaro Gattuso will be without the long-term absentee Andrea Conti as the right-back is still recovering from a cruciate ligament injury, but the rest of the squad is ready and at Gattuso’s disposal.
Udinese vs. AC Milan – Betting Trends and Match Prediction
- Udinese scored seven goals in the last three Serie A matches at home
- Udinese conceded just a goal in the previous three home games
- Milan allowed at least a goal in the past six road matches
- Milan conceded nine goals in the last five road games in Serie A
Udinese won three out of the previous six H2H duels, but Milan was victorious when the teams last met in September 2017. The Little Zebras won six out of the last ten encounters at Friuli and scored in each of the previous six home games against Milan, so I am backing them to find the net behind Donnarumma’s back on this one as well. On the other hand, I expect to see the visitors continue with fine form and score, so I don’t see why the teams shouldn’t combine for at least a goal on both ends.
MY PICK: Both teams to score YES (-133)