The Europa League is not a priority for AC Milan but Vincenzo Montella cannot afford another disappointing result when they visit AEK Athens on Thursday night.
The pressure continues to grow on the Milan manager and Saturday's 2-0 home defeat to Juventus saw the Rossoneri slip further off the pace in Serie A; indeed, Milan are now 15 points behind leaders Napoli and having spent more than €200 million in the summer, things are not going to plan for the seven-time European champions.
On top of that, they were held to a 0-0 draw by AEK at the San Siro two weeks ago, with the Greek outfit good value for a point after a solid display against a poor Milan side.
AEK, meanwhile, are going well in the Greek Super League where they sit third and they beat Club Brugge 3-0 at home to qualify for the group stages of the Europa League back in August.
After several years in the wilderness following relegation to the lower echelons of Greek football, hosting a club of the stature of Milan will be quite an occasion for AEK and the Olympic Stadium will be full of vociferous home supporters; as such, Betfair price the Greeks at 11/5 (3.20) while Milan are offered at 13/10 (2.30) and another draw can be backed at 23/10 (3.30).
Both sides had chances to score in the reverse fixture a fortnight ago, and although it was Giannis Anestis who was the busier of the two goalkeepers, the Greek stopper was not called up as much as he might have thought as Milan have been far from consistent in the final third.
The Rossoneri have failed to score in five of their last eight matches in all competitions and AEK will make themselves tough to break down, therefore opposing both teams to score appeals at 9/10 (1.90) while under 2.5 goals is offered at 8/11 (1.73).
For higher odds, however, we will back the first goal to be scored after the opening half an hour at 5/4 (2.25). Milan have only scored one goal in the opening 30 minutes of their last seven matches in all competitions, and this seems a shrewd selection for what could be another challenging night for Montella's men.