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Tactical Battles That Will Shape Genoa's Clash with AC Milan

MILAN, ITALY - NOVEMBER 23:  Mario Balotelli of AC Milan dejected during the Serie A match between AC Milan and Genoa CFC at Stadio Giuseppe Meazza on November 23, 2013 in Milan, Italy.  (Photo by Claudio Villa/Getty Images)
Claudio Villa/Getty Images
Matteo BonettiContributor IApril 4, 2014

Milan will travel to the Marassi on Monday to face a midtable Genoa side that has given problems to plenty of Serie A teams.

With a Europa League spot in reach, the Rossoneri will be desperate to get a result as they look to win their third consecutive match in Serie A. Meanwhile, three points would guarantee salvation for Genoa, as they'd reach the famous 40-point mark in the league.

Milan's lineup won't change too much from their last victory against Chievo Verona. Coach Clarence Seedorf seems to have found a formula that works as plenty of the full-backs are out due to injury.

Daniele Bonera will slide into the right-back position, with both Adil Rami and Philippe Mexes patrolling the middle. This essentially gives Milan three centre-backs to quell Genoa's attack.

Here are some of the most important tactical battles that will shape Genoa's clash with Milan:

Last meetings between Milan and Genoa
23/11/13Milan 1-1 Genoa
8/03/13Genoa 0-2 Milan
27/10/12Milan 1-0 Genoa
Soccerway H2H


Milan's Attack Exploiting Genoa's Formation

Genoa's 3-5-2 means that the wings could be exposed as the two wing-backs venture forward, leaving plenty of space for Milan's front four to exploit the spaces on the flanks.

Adel Taarabt can provide plenty of creativity cutting in from the left, while Keisuke Honda still has to prove everything as an attacking midfielder on the right side of the formation.


Alberto Gilardino vs. Milan's Poor Aerial Defending

Gilardino is one of the most feared strikers in the air, as plenty of his goals come from headers. He's a great striker in the penalty box who often contorts his body in such a way that he can score from the most awkward of angles.

That being said, Milan's defending of set pieces has improved considerably since the the 6'4" Rami joined in January.

Gilardino leads all Genoa goalscorers with 13 on the season and will pressure Milan's defense with his clever runs inside the box.


Mattia Perin vs. Mario Balotelli

Mattia Perin barks out orders in Genoa's last match against Milan
Mattia Perin barks out orders in Genoa's last match against MilanClaudio Villa/Getty Images

One of the most promising young goalkeepers will match up against the striker with perhaps the fiercest long-range shot in Serie A.

It has all the makings of a battle that will captivate throughout the matchespecially with how important Perin was during the last match played between the two, which resulted in a 1-1 draw.



In the end, Genoa will be a tough opponent to face for the Rossoneri, who can expect a packed stadium with fervent supporters.

The match will be critical for Honda, who has been slightly improving since joining from CSKA Moscow in January.

Honda has been played out of position, as he's more accustomed to playing a more central role, but will need to adapt to playing out on the wing. Last match against Chievo saw a marked improvement from the Japanese international, who showed better work rate and delivered a lovely ball for Kaka's first goal.

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