Nov 112018
 

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Without Bonaventura, Biglia and Musacchio and most of the game without Higuain Milan needed another last minute Romagnoli goal to beat Udinese. As the injuries piled up every body involved with Milan feared the worst when in the first half Higuain asked to be subbed after a getting a knock in his back. As it turned out the game became chaotic and back and forth and after a prolonged counter and passing play Romagnoli beat Juan Musso in the Udinese goal right at the end. The defender and captain solidified his reputation in Milan fans’ hearts for doing the same in the second game in a row.

With that feeling Milan traveled to Betis for match day 4 of the Europa League. Without all of the aforementioned player (except Musacchio), a 3-5-2 and with Romagnoli starting on the bench Milan struggled to play a good game, suffered more injury hits and were lucky to escape with a tie.

As it stands the injury list includes Strinic (heart issue, return unknown), Caldara (at least until February), Biglia (at least until March) and Musacchio (at least until January after he was almost knocked unconscious after colliding with Kessie at Betis). The list also includes Calhanoglu and Bonaventura as not 100% match fit.

The formation starting versus the league leaders will very likely be Abate, Zapata, Romagnoli and Rodriguez in front of Donnarumma. Suso, Kessie, Bakayoko and Calhanoglu behind Castillejo and Higuain. The latter is probably also not 100% match fit but will push to play against his old team. Cutrone’s expected omission is not fully explained.

Ronaldo has not scored at the San Siro in the five games he has played at the stadium, three of which have been against Milan. Despite a midweek loss to Manchester United beating Juventus will require a form defying performance. The task is to not only stop the Portuguese but Paulo Dybala, Mario Mandzukic and the whole of Juventus team who only have Emre Can on their injury list.

Nov 042018
 

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Two wins vs the Genoa based teams has propelled Milan to the top 4, before week 11 matches start. The 2-1 win vs Genoa midweek and 3-2 win vs Sampdoria last weekend both required winning goals that may have seen unlikely at times during the match. Neither game featured a team impressive in movement, shape or tactics. One featured a departure from Gattuso’s preferred 4-3-3 to a 4-4-2  – with both Cutrone and Higuain starting vs Sampdoria. The other looked more like a 3-5-2 that reverted to a 4-4-2 when Abate replaced the wing back/winger Laxalt. The three at the back is very unfamiliar to the players and it showed.

Biglia’s injury that will keep him out for over a month has added to the injury list with news that Caldara will miss three months with a calf problem. The midfield lacks the most depth and it seems likely that Bakayoko will be getting more minutes . The French midfielder has to cut down on his mistakes, one of which was partially responsible for Genoa’s deflected goal midweek.

Despite question marks a back three could make another appearance with Rodriguez lining up with Musacchio and Romagnoli. The midfield will still miss Bonaventura who is out with a knock therefore Laxalt, Calhanoglu, Bakayoko, Kessie and Suso could feature behind Higuain and Cutrone. The latter scored the opener vs Sampdoria and has one of the best goals to minutes ratios in the top leagues . The 20 years old has scored five goals (in all competitions) so far this season in 327 minutes.

There is also more news of an Ibra return, an 18 months deal starting in January 2019 could be in the works.

Udinese sit just above the relegation zone in 17th place with Rodrigo De Paul having scored fully half of their 10 goals so far this season.

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