Mar 232016
 

Last week La Gazzetta dello Sport published an article looking forward to Milan’s 2016 summer transfer window. The paper aimed to identify and categorize players that are sure to stay, unsure and certain to leave.

Here is the list of players as categorized by the newspaper:brightfuture

Certain to stay: Abate, Antonelli, Bacca, Bonaventura, Donnarumma, Kucka, Locatelli, Montolivo, Romagnoli.

Uncertain future: Abbiati, Bertolacci, Calabria, De Sciglio, Honda, Menez, Niang, Poli, Zapata.

Set for exit: Alex, Balotelli, Boateng, Lopez, Ely, Mauri, Adriano, Mexes.

It is telling that the ‘certain to stay’ list features only 9 players. Fans should be hoping that some of the ‘set for exit’ and ‘uncertain future’ names are just loans because there is surely little point in giving up on players like Calabria, Ely and Mauri. There are plenty other questions too, for example, who is going to be next season’s second or third choice goalie if Lopez is definitely leaving?

The identity of the Milan’s 2016-17 season coach is still up in the air and based on recent results so is the likelihood of any European participation. One must presume that on a normal team a coach will have a lot to say about his players and if Mihajlovic is not returning a lot of this list is or should be pure speculation. A non interfering owner will provide the best possible for his coach and step out of the way but with Berlusconi this is of course not guaranteed.

It is already certain that Milan will suffer massive losses and a drop off in revenue is just as responsible as any over spending. Champions League action is out of reach. Any revenue provided by possible Europa League action will come nowhere near enough to cover the losses.

Bright future? Another active but anticlimactic summer more likely.

Mar 202016
 

Milan Lazio

The disappointment deepened after the 0-0 tie at Chievo. The chances of reaching fifth spot, let alone anything above were lowered as Milan and Carlos Bacca fell into a scoring slump. All of which means Sassuolo are only four points behind and have Milan looking over their shoulders as well.

Up next Alessandro Matri and Lazio visit Milan, the visitors come to Milan following a very poor Europa League exit at the hands of Sparta Prague.

Donnarumma was substituted during the Chievo match after colliding with Antonelli but should be fine and start, perhaps the bigger news out of his exit was that Abbiati came on despite Lopez being available after a long layoff. This almost certainly means Lopez is considered a third string keeper and will be sold in the summer. Other news of the week included more team sale rumours, all of which were obviously and predictably denied. There was no mention of Mr. Bee however.

On defense, Alex has a knock therefore Zapata and Romagnoli look to start. On midfield Kucka is out but Montolivo is back and it looks like he will partner Bertolacci, Honda and Bonaventura. In the striking department we might be looking at an Adriano – Bacca partnership again. An offensive spark is very much needed.

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Mar 132016
 

Chievo Milan

Week 28’s 2-0 loss at Sassuolo dimmed already unlikely hopes of reaching 3rd place and securing a spot in the Champions League qualifiers. The manner of the loss and the poor showing by the likes of Bertolacci was disappointing yet again.

Amid whispers of Mihajlovic leaving at the end of season this match proceeds with Montolivo still unavailable to play against Chievo, his absence and other factors highlighted by the week 28 loss have somehow pushed the coach to tinker once more. It is thought that a switch back to 4-3-3 is on the cards. Bertolacci and Kucka in midfield will be joined by Poli for this match. Bonaventura and Honda will push forward to flank Bacca. Whether or not this solidifies the transition from defence to attack remains to be seen.

Abate will return from suspension to start at right back and Romagnoli will likely reclaim his spot from Zapata and start alongside Alex. Mexes and Adriano are back in the squad and available for selection.

Chievo sold Alberto Paloschi in the winter window – to EPL’s Swansea – so he will not be facing his former team. Valter Birsa however, is still at Chievo and will be looking at add to his five goals scored so far this season.

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Mar 062016
 

Sassuolo Milan

Week 27 featured three more points vs Torino and the continuation of the team’s good form and mini revival. It was followed by Milan booking a place in the Coppa final – by easily beating Alessandria 5-0 – in May vs Juventus and in the process all but guaranteeing Europa League football play next season.

The Torino game also featured a yellow for Abate and it has ruled him out of week 28. De Sciglio should take his place at Sassuolo. Zapata and Alex are set to continue their partnership meaning Romagnoli stays on the bench. Whether this is controversial or not will depend on Zapata’s performance, he is inconsistent but in good form the last 2 weeks.

Following the game last week Niang crashed his car, damaged his ankle and is set to be sidelined for some weeks. Earlier Menez was thought to be the player to take his spot, especially after scoring two vs Alessandria, but Balotelli has emerged as the likely starter alongside Bacca.

In midfield Montolivo has not recovered and therefore Bertolacci and Kucka will start again. They will be flanked by Honda and Bonaventura.

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