Dec 082019
 

Week 14 was a somewhat dominating performance at Parma, the statistics tell such a story. Possession in the upper 60 percentile and shots on goal very lopsided. However, it took a near last minute ‘in the right place’ goal for Theo Hernandez to save Milan. The finish was very well but the ball rebounded or deflected to Frenchman’s feet. The 1-0 win was an improvement but it needs to happen more often and the goal drought has to stop.

Piatek has three goals and Theo has three goals. This is not a winning formula. Piatek’s form has been so poor and erratic that the talk of him leaving in January has increased. Ibra may arrive and give everybody on the team a kick. It is indeed that bad that a 38 year old is a remedy. Ibra is no ordinary 38 year old of course.

Not that coach after coach care to change much. Leao may not be a great alternative but he struggles to get minutes eventhough the Polish striker is at best off form. The same issue goes for Suso. Samu doesn’t seem likely to get many minutes. In the same vein Kessie started at Parma and got 71 minutes while Krunic was on the bench. All these defy explanation. Even more so when Pioli is not the first to insist on such a lineup.

The Rest of the midfield and front three will likely remain the same as Bonaventura, Bennacer and Calhanoglu are preferred to Biglia, Paqueta and Rebic. The same goes for the back four. Conti has shown flashes of good form and will line up with Musacchio, Romagnoli and Hernandez. Donnarumma was not busy at all at Parma and continues to be number one.

Bologna are of course coached by Sinisa Mihajlovic. The Serbian was diagnosed with leukemia and has been in and out of the hospital since the summer. His team sit one point and one place behind Milan. The hosts will be missing Gary Medel through suspension and Roberto Soriano through injury.

Follow the match as it happens, on the forum.

Dec 012019
 

A 1-1 tie versus Napoli may be considered progress in a season of crisis but Napoli are going through their own version of crisis with relationship at an all time low between the players and ownership of Aurelio De Laurentiis.

The game with Napoli started well enough with the visitors pinned in their half but Milan’s offensive prowess has been mediocre at best and the visitors were the ones who opened the scoring and with another defensive breakdown. Hirving Lozano pretty much left alone headed in a rebound when Donnaruma had made an initial save.

Bonaventura, in a man of the match performance, seemed the most energetic and determined player. The Italian tied it soon after with a good shot that beat Alex Meret.

Suspensions had left Milan without Calhanoglu and Bennacer and the starting 11 featuring Biglia. This made for a poor middle three. Providing some evidence for a lack of depth or perhaps ineptitude Pioli’s subs included Kessie for Rebic and Calabria for Biglia. In typical fashion the game finished poorly with a panicked side gaining a barely positive solitary point.

Parma sit four places above Milan in 9th place and have lost only once in their last six Serie A matches. No game will be easy for Milan and the underperforming Piatek has people talking about replacements. Ibra’s name is mentioned regularly and he might indeed arrive. Even if he does not a forward signing seems a certainty and the possibility remains that Piatek gets shipped out in January.

Calhanoglu and Bennacer look set to regain their starting spot and Bonaventura surely deserves a start. Suso was due to start versus Napoli but pulled out late due to a stomach issue. His Croatian replacement, Rebic, was unimpressive so the often favoured Spaniard will be back starting. The week brought news that Leo Duarte injured his heel and will be out for a while. This prompted news that Milan will be searching for central defensive enforcements in January. That doesn’t say much about the team’s confidence in Musacchio or Caldara. The former will get the starts in the meanwhile.

Follow the match as it happens, on the forum.

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