Sports are looking up in Europe in the past few weeks, as the top-tier football leagues are all back in action. The Premier League, La Liga, Serie A, and the Bundesliga are playing matches and finishing up their season after a lengthy shutdown. Elsewhere, the Portugese league is holding matches, while Ligue 1 in France has closed up shop.
Ligue 1 is the only major league that isn’t resuming their season. Major League Soccer in the US is scheduled to begin on July 8 with a tournament style finish to their year. It’s the first sports league in North America to make a return to competition. No, the MLS is not a top-tier outfit, but it has a strong following and will catch some interest in North America.
Some people will say Major League Baseball will be held up because of recent positive COVID-19 cases, but this is primarily a money problem. There were clubs in Europe that had positive cases, and they were quarantined while everything else continued on. That’s really what will have to happen, not only in sports, but any other business as well. Northern Italy was hit extremely hard with the virus in spots and was the epicenter of the pandemic at one point.
The fact that they’re back to playing football is quite amazing. Spain didn’t have it easy either and they’ve overcome to get back to the pitch. AC Milan will be in action against Lecce on Monday at Via del Mare in Lecce. Tough matchup for Lecce as they make their return after two humiliating losses before going into quarantine mode.
Lecce were blown out by Roma and Atalanta by scores of 7-2 and 4-0. They won’t have to deal with Zlatan on Monday, but winning matches against average to good clubs has been difficult for Lecce. They are candidates for relegation, so there is something to play for in this one. Lecce heads into Monday with a record of 6-7-13 and 34 points. That puts them in 18th, ahead of only SPAL and Brescia. They’re tied with Genoa at 34 points for the bottom-3. Sampdoria holds a 1-point advantage on Genoa and Lecce.
By Milan’s standards, this has been an awful campaign as well. They’re an average club with a record of 10-6-10 in 2020. On the outside looking in at Juventus and Lazio, AC Milan are playing for pride. They must be aware that Lecce is playing to avoid relegation, so a sloppy effort will result in a tie or even worse a loss. Head below for our free Lecce vs. AC Milan pick for June, 2020 in Serie A.
Lecce vs. AC Milan Serie A Betting Odds:
Lecce vs. AC Milan Prediction:
The most recent win for Lecce was on February 15 against SPAL. SPAL are one of only two clubs that are behind Lecce. An upset over Napoli prior to that match is the most recent notable win for Lecce. The break might have come at the perfect time for Lecce after they were embarrassed by a score of 7-2 against Atalanta. While they will put up a better fight than that on Monday, Lecce are going to be down a pivotal piece offensively.
Giulio Donati is out of this match because of a suspension, so any hope of a solid counter-attack is going to be difficult. The right-back will be replaced by Andrea Rispoli. For the most part, it’s looking like Lecce will be going with a similar lineup as they did against SPAL, except for Donati having to sit down. Alessandro Deiola is also going to be unavailable on Monday, as he deals with an injury and is not fit to play.
On the other side, AC Milan gets good news as Theo Hernandez will report for duty after servicing a suspension. He should give the wing a boost, and especially against a short-handed Lecce club, Hernandez should thrive in this one. AC Milan are down Zlatan, but it shouldn’t matter too much with Lecce without a couple of contributors. His leadership is more important for this club than anything else, and it’s probably not required versus Lecce.
Lecce are dead last in the Serie A defensively, with 56 goals conceded. They’ve allowed 2.31 goals per match, which is way too high to compete with the top clubs in Italy. At home Lecce has struggled as well. Lecce has conceded 2 goals per match, while scoring only 1.46 goals per match at home. Homefield advantage in football can be important, but for Lecce, it doesn’t help much.
AC Milan will not go into Monday completely rusty. They drew against Juventus, 0-0, in the Coppa Italia semi-final recently. Conversely, Lecce has not played since March. Avoiding relegation is a motivator for Lecce, but there’s also some motivation for AC Milan in the sense that a bad performance here would not be a good look versus a weak Lecce club. Their recent outing against top-flight Juventus should help avoid a rusty performance. I’m on AC Milan for a 1-0 or 2-0 win.