AC Milan can move top of the Serie A standings if they claim all three points against Spezia on Monday, with head coach Stefano Pioli calling for his side to deliver a focused performance (Match result – AC Milan 2/7, Draw 5/1, Spezia 9/1).

Inter Milan’s goalless draw at Atalanta on Sunday has opened the door for I Rossoneri (5/1 – to win Serie A) to leapfrog their city rivals and move into first place and confidence should certainly be high following a run of four consecutive victories across all competitions.

However, Milan needed extra-time to get past Genoa in the Coppa Italia during the week, and Pioli knows his side will have to deliver an improved performance if they are to avoid slipping up against a Spezia team who have eased their own relegation concerns following back-to-back wins on the road.

“We have to play as a team, as we are up against a Spezia side that won with clean sheets away to Napoli and Genoa, so we need clear ideas,” Pioli told reporters.

“This side has always shown it is intelligent and responsible. Our approach to the Genoa game in the Coppa Italia midweek was not right, we know how important it is to start sharp and determined.

“We believe in ourselves and our destiny is in our hands.”

The match at the San Siro is one of three taking place in Serie A on Monday, with another of the title contenders, Napoli, also in action when they visit mid-table Bologna (Match result – Bologna 3/1, Draw 13/5, Napoli 10/11).

Napoli’s Scudetto challenge has been derailed somewhat following a run of just three wins in 10 league matches, but they will be visiting a Bologna outfit who have lost four of their last five under Sinisa Mihajlovic.

That match kicks off a 17:30, the same time as Milan’s clash with Spezia, while the late game sees Fiorentina play host to Genoa at 19:45 (Match result – Fiorentina 2/5, Draw 19/5, Genoa 7/1).

La Viola have endured an up and down run of recent results, following up a 4-0 defeat at Torino in their last league fixture by hitting five at Napoli in the Coppa Italia.

A victory on Monday would see them move level on points with sixth-placed Roma and they will expect to get over the line against second-bottom Genoa, who are six points adrift of safety following an 18-match winless run in Serie A which stretches back to mid-September.

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