Icon: Milan


·1 October 2022



The long stretch of games that takes the Rossoneri to the World Cup stop in the middle of November kicks off with Empoli this weekend. Stefano Pioli's AC Milan arrive in Tuscany to face Paolo Zanetti's Azzurri side looking to get back to winning ways in the league, and start off in the best possible way an action-packed October. Kick-off is scheduled for 20:45 CEST at Castellani. Here is our Match Preview:

LATEST FROM MILANELLO Two important players have emerged to be unavailable during after International break, Mike Maignan and Theo Hernández. Replacing them will be Tătăruşanu between the sticks and Ballo-Touré on the left-hand flank. Junior Messias will miss the game, too. There is good news for Coach Pioli though, with Rafa Leão being back available after his one-match suspension, which may allow him to make some selections with Wednesday's Champions League game in mind. In that sense, Bennacer and Pobega could partner in midfield, with Saelemaekers and Messias on the right side. Giroud is set to lead the line, with Ante Rebić also back in the squad.

"Empoli are a busy side, technically good, who try to get close to you and stop you from playing", said Coach Pioli on the eve of the match. "We'll need to alert, compact, and active in both sides of the game, and give options to who is on the ball. From tomorrow onward, we'll have twelve games in 48 days, it's going to be an important part of the season, but our mentality doesn't need to change, just think about one game at a time, always giving our all."

LATEST FROM EMPOLI The season started off quietly for the Tuscan side, but got their first league win before the International break, a 1-0 win over Bologna. Before their success at Dall'Ara, Zanetti's side had collected four draws and two defeats, against Spezia and Roma, and currently find themselves in 13th position, on the same points as Salernitana. Empoli had a busy summer with some important outgoings - Żurkowski and Pinamonti, as well as Head Coach Andreazzoli - and many incomings, especially in attack, with Destro, Lammers and Satriano all joining. The Tuscans have back in their squad the former AC Milan player and Baldanzi, but won't be able to rely on the injured Ismajli and Akpa Akpro, who join the long-term injury list with Tonelli. At Bologna, they lined-up in a 4-3-1-2 formation: Vicario; Stojanović, Ismajli, Luperto, Parisi; Haas, Marin, Bandinelli; Bajrami; Satriano, Lammers.

"It was a pleasure analysing AC Milan, because they are good in every aspect of the game", Paolo Zanetti said in his press conference. "It's a team that has an answer to everything, that are set up well and represent a real test for us. The aim is to win, that's what we work hard for every day. At Bologna, we got a win thanks to our performance, we're not lacking in confidence".

WHERE TO WATCH AC MILAN IN TV Empoli v AC Milan will be shown live in Italy on DAZN and Sky at 20.45 CEST. On the Rossoneri channels, meanwhile, there is Matchday on Milan TV, available on Sky (channel 230), which is part of the DAZN or Amazon Prime Video Channels subscription for €3.99 a month with a 15-day trial free. The show will begin at 19:30 CEST and continue until kick-off, with post-match interviews and Coach Pioli's press conference shown after the game.

From 20:40, there will also be a special appointment on AC Milan's Twitch channel with Francesco Specchia, Lollo and other special guests on Live Reaction. Also don't miss our live Twitter feed during the game as well as coverage on acmilan.com and the AC Milan Official App.

LATEST FROM SERIE A Gianluca Aureliano will referee the game with Empoli. The 42-year-old from Bologna will take charge of his 27th match in Serie A, refereeing both sides just once in the past: with AC Milan on 26 October 2021, in the Rossoneri's 1-0 win over Torino. Making up the officials team will be referee assistants Rossi and Di Gioia, and Fourth Official Maresca. In charge of VAR is Guida (AVAR Di Martino).

Opening matchday 8 of Serie A is Napoli v Torino, today at 15:00 CEST. As well as Empoli v AC Milan today, there is also Inter v Roma at 18.00 CEST. Sunday's league action starts off with Lazio v Spezia at 12.30 CEST, followed by Lecce v Cremonese, Sampdoria v Monza and Sassuolo v Salernitana at 15:00 CEST. This round of fixtures ends with Atalanta v Fiorentina at 18:00 CEST and Juventus v Bologna at 20:45 CEST, while Hellas Verona v Udinese is the Monday night match at 20.45 CEST.

Here are the standings after seven games: Napoli, Atalanta 17; Udinese 16; Lazio, AC Milan 14; Roma 13; Inter 12; Juventus, Torino 10; Fiorentina, Sassuolo 9; Spezia 8; Salernitana, Empoli 7; Lecce, Bologna 6; Hellas Verona 5; Monza 4; Cremonese, Sampdoria 2.

The PUMA AC Milan Kits for the 2022/23 season are available: get yours now!

View publisher imprint