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The week 3 loss at Lazio was a wake up call of sorts. The shape of the team and the collapse of the team in the 4-1 loss was not something any fan wanted to see this season. Ciro Immobile, not exactly the most highly rated player by opposing fans, tore through the uncomfortable looking back four and his hattrick reminded everyone that perhaps Bonucci is best used in a back three instead of four. The back three was indeed used vs Austria Wien in the Europa League opener in midweek and the result, a 5-1 win vs admittedly weaker opposition, re-enforced the back three’s need.
Week four is Udinese at the San Siro. The team features rising star Jakub Jankto and the midfielder’s name has already been rumoured and wanted around Italy and Europe. The team is led by Maxi Lopez and will face a Conti-less Milan. The right back damaged his knee ligaments after returning from a short injury lay off and is out until the Spring. His absence makes the 3-5-2 formation less formidable and Abate needs to do very well and provide his best offensive work. The front two will be much debated, the indications are that Suso and Kalinic will start vs Udinese but many will call for Andre Silva’s inclusion, if not for any other reason than his hattrick at Wien in midweek. Perhaps he will start in the upcoming midweek week 5 match vs SPAL. The midfield five will form a good spine with Kessie, Biglia and Calhanoglu in the middle (plus Rodriguez on the left). The aforementioned Turkish international had a man of the match performance at Wien where he provided a goal and two assists. His creativity will be key.