AC Milan early season review: what can we expect for the rest of the season?

Being a fan of AC Milan right now has to be a mixed bag. They are a team that have risen from the ashes and orchestrated a rebuild that has delivered them the Serie A title in a very short span of time. As a supporter of the club, you will no doubt be riding high off the back of that success but recent form suggests some reason to harbour worry in their hearts. This sportsbook review offers an in-depth coverage on the Serie A giants and their exploits so far as well as expectations for the 2022/2023 campaign.

Milan fans during Chelsea’s visit to San Siro

A very audible gasp could be heard around San Siro when Fikayo Tomori was shown a red card for a foul on Mason Mount in the 17th minute. The crowd clearly thought it was a harsh decision and BT Sport commentator Robbie Savage shared that sentiment but the decision stood and they were left with a mountain they were unable to climb successfully.

After losing 3-0 to the Blues the previous week, their chances of actually getting a positive result a man light became improbable. It is now three losses in five games for the Rossoneri and they would feel hard done by at this very moment with the way things have gone.

Injuries have not helped

It is only 13 games into the season and Milan have suffered injuries to key players already. Right now, Davide Calabria, excellent first choice keeper Mike Maignan, veteran fullback Alessandro Florenzi, Theo Hernandez, Rade Krunic, Alexis Saelemaekers, Charles De Ketelaere, Divock Origi, Sandro Tonali and Simon Kjaer are either spending or have spent time on the sidelines for AC Milan.

This is never a good sign for a team that plays as many matches as the Rossoneri do and some of those absentees are important starters or rotation options. Stefano Pioli has refused to blame injuries for their recent form and simply suggested that the team could do better and make less mistakes. He is right!

The major issue that sticks out with the club is the inability to keep clean sheets. Their season so far has seen them keep only three clean sheets from 13 matches. A far cry from the 10 clean sheets kept in 13 matches at the back end of last season.

Nine of those 10 shutouts helped Milan reach the pinnacle of Italian football and claim the Scudetto. In Serie A, they are fifth on the table and sit three points behind League Leaders Napoli. They have the lowest non-penalty expected goals conceded (NpxG) number in Serie A with 6.2 NpxG and have conceded only seven goals this season.

However, the fact that they’re unable to consistently shut out their opponents completely means that every time they have faced very good opposition this season, their weaknesses have been exposed.

Their three losses in the last five games have come against Napoli, the current League Leaders and twice against Chelsea. They also conceded more than once in their victory against bitter Rivals Inter Milan.

Their league position suggests they aren’t in a crisis at all and many believe that inconsistency is a part of having a very young team but this team still has the core group of players that were League Champions so that excuse will simply not fly, as Pioli has pointed out.

Their defeats in Europe are obviously disheartening to the players and fans but it is more of an indicator of where Milan are compared to the true European giants. They’re not there yet but they aspire to be and this core may be able to get the Rossoneri there. It’s all about trusting a process which had brought them success.

What to expect from Milan

That being said, the expectation on the shoulders of this very young team is to provide another title charge, one which they are more than capable of doing. They have already scored 18 goals and are the third highest scorers in the league and do not look like slowing down anytime soon.

Between their two losses to Chelsea they were able to secure a dominant victory over a poor Juventus side and will look to get back to winning ways when they face Hellas Verona this weekend in a match they fully expect to win. Napoli might be top of the League but AC Milan aren’t far behind. They’ve done this before and nobody will bet against this group of kids doing it again. As it stands, what we can expect is fireworks from this very exciting team.