Nov 282015
 

Milan Sampdoria

In the aftermath of the 1-0 loss away to Juventus more doubts and questions resurfaced. Mihajlovic’s lineup choices are mostly dictated by injuries and the limited squad but formation changes seem to be on the card everyday. To that end it was hoped that Bertolacci’s return to the lineup would bring back the 4-4-2. Bertolacci’s positives performances when healthy made the midfield a more solid and proactive part of the team. However Bertolacci re-aggravated his injury and will not be available.

So is it back to 4-3-3 with Cerci, Bacca and Niang up front? It seems so but when looking at lineup predictions and indications from the coach it seems a sort of modified 4-4-2 will be played with Cerci dropping back to the right of midfield. In any case the difference will likely only be on paper. Montolivo, Kucka and Bonaventura will try to be better providers for the forwards at the same time doing their best to support the defenders who have to deal with Eder, a scorer of nine goals so far this season for the Ligurians.

The defense will likely stay the same as Abate, Alex, Romagnoli and Antonelli will hope that they can help Donnarumma keep a clean sheet against Montella’s team.

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Nov 212015
 

Juve Milan

After the international break a big match awaits. Somewhat surprisingly Juve are below Milan in the standings of course and it happens that only two points separate the teams, fighting to get into Europa League spots.

For a few days it seemed that Buffon might not make it and remain absent but he has recovered and should start against Milan near the 20 year anniversary of his debut against Milan. His opposite number in the Milan goal will be a very fresh face and Donnarumma hopes to follow in the veteran’s footsteps with a long successful career.

On the injury front Balotelli’s saga may have been resolved, he had hip flexor surgery and will be out a minimum of four weeks. Bertolacci has not recovered yet and de Jong is out as well. Juventus have a few players missing too as Khedira, Caceres, Pereyra and Asamoah are sidelined.

The 4-3-3 is likely to remain the choice for the time being with Bonaventura, Montolivo and Kucka in the middle of the pitch joined by Niang, Bacca and Cerci up front. Alex has recovered from his head knock and should partner Romagnoli  in the center of the defense. Abate and Antonelli will get the call at fullback.

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Nov 072015
 

Milan Atalanta
Beating – the undefeated at home – Lazio may serve as a morale boost and a turning point. Three wins in a row means little if not followed up so the morale boost and lots more hard work is required. Atalanta visit the San Siro in decent shape with players like Mauricio Pinilla and Daro Gomez in good form, but after a heavy loss away to Bologna.

The week 11 Lazio win was not without its casualties as Alex and Bertolacci came off injured and are not available for week 12. Mexes who came on and soon after scored a goal will partner Romagnoli this time and the midfield needs to be changed yet again. Montolivo, Kucka and Poli look like the trio to make it with de Jong a possibility as well.

For the front three there is a dilemma too. Bonaventura’s yellow at Lazio has him suspended for week 12 and Mihajlovic has to choose between Honda and the returning Niang. Starting the player who has been sidelined since August seems a big a risk but all indications are that it will happen. Therefore the 4-3-3 will persist and the hope is Cerci will continue his relative good form.

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Nov 012015
 

Lazio Milan

Two wins in a row! By a 16 year old goalkeeper!

The season’s first winning streak has been achieved with Donnarumma in goal. The 16 year old has impressed but it doesn’t diminish the risk that is being taken. Giving him starts may prove to be wrong in the long term but as Berlusconi said this week he can be Milan’s goalie for 20 years …. here’s hoping.

Elsewhere on the pitch, the win against Chievo was a decent enough display, especially the second half. Now Milan meet Lazio away. Lazio have won all (5) their home Serie A matches so far this season. To make it 3 wins in a row Milan will have to be consistent and press the hosts more consistently.

Mihajlovic will stick to the 4-3-3 and will use 10 of the same starters as the Chievo match. The 11th is a forced absence as Abate is nursing a muscle issue he picked up early in the Chievo match. De Sciglio should get the start in his place.

Niang will be on the bench for the first time this season.

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