AC Milan are 14 points away from table toppers Juventus in the Serie A, and are, therefore, out of the title race. However, AC Milan are still in with a chance to win another trophy, as they prepare to face Alessandria in the second leg of the Coppa Italia semifinal at San Siro. AC Milan currently lead 1-0, after defeating Alessandria in the first leg last month.
The third-tier club -- Alessandria -- were solid against AC Milan and played well in the first leg, but were unlucky not to get more from the game. The scrappy contest was decided by Mario Balotelli's penalty in the first half. The Italian missed some golden chances to score more in the match as well.
Balotelli will receive another chance to impress manager Sinisa Mihajlovic, who wants to give opportunities to non-regular starters as well. The objective of the manager remains the same – reach the Coppa Italia final by defeating Alessandria.
"We have the chance to progress to the final and I will be starting some of those players that have played less this season. We all care a great deal about this competition and I am expecting a great performance from everyone. We are in good form and we know what we have to do: battle and work hard for one another," AC Milan official website quoted Mihajlovic as saying.
"We need to step things up a gear and I am expecting a lot from those who have played less such as Balotelli and Menez. They are quality players and they have to make the most of the opportunities that come their way. They will both play."
Milan have been in great form in the Serie A. They have won four and drawn two in their last six Serie A fixtures. With such form, they are huge favourites to progress in the competition, which they are keen to win.
"We cannot lower our guard. By progressing, we will have a chance to lift a trophy and we need to make the best of this opportunity. We are preparing well and we are looking to keep our concentration levels high," Mihajlovic said.
Alessandria, despite being underdogs, are expected to give their best and trouble the home side. They need to come up with a similar level of football, which helped them defeat superior Italian clubs such as Palermo, Genoa and Spezia en route to Coppa Italia semifinals.
Manager Angelo Gregucci, unlike Mihajlovic, does not have major stars in his lineup. Hence, all their eleven players on the pitch at the San Siro will have to deliver, if they are upset Milan. The match is a historic one for Alessandria, as they last played at the San Siro 80 years ago.
The winner -- after the aggregate score -- will either face Inter Milan or Juventus, who are set to play the other semis, Wednesday.
Where to watch live
The Coppa Italia semifinal -- AC Milan vs Alessandria -- is scheduled for 9 p.m. local time (1:30 a.m. IST, 8p.m. GMT and 3 p.m. ET) start. There is no live TV coverage in India.
Viewers in Itlay can watch it live on RAI Uno.
AC Milan vs Alessandria can be watched live in the UK on Sky Sports 1 and Sky Sports 2HD, with an option to live stream the match online on Sky Go.
US viewers can watch AC Milan vs Alessandria live on Gol TV..