Empoli v AC Milan – Saturday 19:45, BT Sport 2

A week after a 4-0 thrashing at the hands of Fiorentina, 17th-placed Empoli welcome AC Milan and the win they will need to keep a healthy distance between themselves and the drop zone will be a tall order. The Rossoneri were denied a derby victory over Inter by a last-gasp equaliser, and they must now settle for a share of second place in Serie A alongside Roma.

AC will be deflated not only by last week’s result, but also by the absence of several key players from the lineup this week. Centre back Romagnoli sat out the last game with muscle issues and he is likely to sit this one out as well, and AC will miss him: they’ve won 48% of his 44 starts since the beginning of last season compared to just two of seven without him. Bacca is also set to miss out, and given that he has 16 more goals than any other AC Milan player since 2015/16, and has appeared in all 51 games in that time, the Rossoneri may have to work hard to find the back of the net. However, Empoli have won just one home league game in their last seven, and with Laurini still a doubt at the back, even a depleted Red Devils will fancy their chances.

The most worrying failure for Empoli will be the astonsihing lack of goals: they’ve not got on the scoresheet on home since beating last-placed Crotone in early September. We think Milan will be too strong for Empoli, but with key players absent it’ll be a low-scoring affair – back AC Milan and under 2.5.

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