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With Zlatan Ibrahimovic Signing, AC Milan Still +2500 to Finish Top 4 in Serie A

Quinn Allen

by Quinn Allen in Soccer News

Updated Apr 1, 2020 · 1:36 PM PDT

Can Zlatan help to turn around AC Milan's poor 2019-20 season? Photo by Scott Winters/Icon Sportswire
  • AC Milan have brought back Zlatan Ibrahimovic to the club on a six-month deal
  • They’re currently 11th in Italy’s top flight
  • Can Ibra help them make a surge for a top-four finish?

With this season being an utter disappointment to this point, AC Milan has turned to a familiar face as the January transfer window approaches. Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s contract with MLS side Los Angeles Galaxy expired, therefore he joins the Rossoneri on a free transfer.

Stefano Pioli’s side has been dreadful this term, scoring just 16 times in 17 matches while conceding 24 goals. To put their lack of goal-scoring into perspective, fifth-place Atalanta has scored more than twice the amount that Milan have, netting a league-leading 43 tallies. There are many weaknesses in this side from the vulnerability of their backline to inconsistencies in their midfield, but the most noticeable problem is their struggles in the final third. Krzystof Piatek has bagged just four goals in 17 appearances as their number nine after a great start to his Milan career at the tail end of last season.

Serie A Top Four Finish Odds

Team Odds to Finish Top Four
Lazio -600
Atalanta -110
Roma -110
Napoli +350
AC Milan +2500
Cagliari +3300
Torino +10000
Bologna +15000
Fiorentina +15000
Parma +20000

Odds taken Dec 27. 

AC Milan currently has +2500 odds to finish in the top four, which stands to reason. It’s hard to imagine that Zlatan alone is going to make such a difference that the club will make a run at a Champions League spot, but there’s definitely a high chance that the Swede could help them score some more goals.

Zlatan Returns to Milan After Decorated MLS Stint

Ibrahimovic was absolutely lethal during his time in the United States, putting himself in a league of his own even at the age of 38. Across two seasons, the striker scored 52 times in just 56 appearances while also setting up another 17 goals. Ibra played for Milan from 2010-12 and had quite a career in those two seasons, bagging 56 goals in 85 appearances and tallying 24 assists.

There was some doubt in the Milan front office to sign Ibrahimovic given his age, but his European career has been phenomenal and there is no questioning his ruthlessness in the final third. Obviously, the Serie A is a lot better than the MLS, but I do believe he will help Pioli’s side create more havoc on the attack.

AC Milan currently sits 14 points back of fourth-place Roma, so a top-four finish looks very unlikely at this point. Even with the addition of the Swede, it’s going to be a daunting task to climb the table that much. Milan can definitely surge into the top ten though, but that’s as far as they will go this term. Their next five of six matches are against teams below them in the Serie A table, so the hope is that Milan can string together some victories.

Top Four Best Bets

Inter have looked outstanding this year and continue to play impressive football, while Juventus is currently tied with Antonio Conte’s side for the top spot in Italy. Both teams have suffered just one defeat this season. Lazio and Roma currently sit in third and fourth, respectively.

I believe the top three will consist of Inter-Juve-Lazio, but the fourth spot could be up for grabs with Atlanta right on Roma’s heels, just four points behind. Atalanta scores a boatload of goals, evident by their 5-0 smashing of AC Milan over the weekend. With more than half a season left, a lot can change. However, it’s going to be very tough for AC Milan to reach fourth-place Roma with a 14-point gap currently.

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