The latest from Italy’s Serie A
It has been confirmed that the Serie A title race will be decided in the first leg of the Champions League qualifying play-off between AC Milan and Genoa on Thursday.
The Bianconeri face Genoa in the play-offs on Friday after their opponents had to settle for a 3-2 aggregate victory over Lazio on Wednesday.
The tie has been marred by a series of incidents, including a stampede in the away end, and a second yellow card to Andrea Ranocchia in the 74th minute.
The latter was for a second time this season, and it will be a big boost for Milan, who are in a strong position with just one loss in their last eight Serie A games.
Milan were beaten by Sampdoria 2-1 on Wednesday in their opener, but they are back at the San Siro and can finish the season with a win.
Genoa are also favourites, but this is their first visit to the Bianconeria in 15 years, while Milan face Lazio in their home opener on Thursday night.
Both teams are unbeaten in Serie A play-ups this term, and the winner of the tie will reach the group stage of the competition.
Milans boss Massimiliano Allegri has been heavily criticised by the public and by the Italian media for the conduct of the Milan players in the Lazio game.
Alessandro Del Piero was shown a straight red card in the 68th minute after an incident in the penalty area.
He was given an additional two yellow cards, and his team have since lost six of their last seven games.
The Italian press has also been critical of Allegri for his handling of the incident involving Ranoc-Ciccolini, who is also suspended for the clash with Sampdori.
It has been suggested that Allegri was not even aware of the seriousness of the match-fixing allegations before his players were sent off in the 70th minute, and he is facing a lot of criticism over his handling.