Serie A returns as title holders AC Milan face Udinese in the opening match of the 2022-23 season. The Rossoneri won the Scudetto last season, their first top-flight Italian championship since the 2010-11 season. This is their 19th Scudetto all-time, which ties Inter Milan as second in Serie A history, trailing only Juventus with 36 Scudettos. On the other hand, Udinese finished 12th last season with 47 points, their best Serie A performance since the 2012-13 season where they finished 5th with 66 points. Former coach Gabriele Cioffi left the club and was appointed as new Hellas Verona manager and Udinese decided to appoint Andrea Sottil as new coach. These two teams drew both their two matches last season. Here's what you need to know about the opening match:
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AC Milan: The Rossoneri allowed the fewest goals in Serie A last season, allowing just 31 goals all season. AC Milan's +38 goal differential was ranked third in Serie A last season and the defense was the main secret of Stefano Pioli's success. Olivier Giroud and Rafael Leao ranked tied for 16th in Serie A having scored 11 goals apiece last season. Leao also finished the season with eight assists, tied for 8th-most in Serie A. Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who renewed his contract this summer, is still recovering from a knee injury and will be out until the end of the current year.
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Udinese: The Bianconeri had 14 draws last season, Second-most in Serie A trailing only Genoa with 16 and also had the third-lowest possession rate in Serie A last season at 43%. Gerard Deulofeu's 13 goals last season were tied for 10th-most in Serie A with four other players and despite some summer rumurs he's still at the club as things stand today and he's expected to start against AC Milan, his former club.
AC Milan are expected to start off the new season with a win after a positive pre-season tour and should not lose points in the opening match at San Siro. PICK: AC Milan 2, Udinese 0.