Ibra scored both goals in the opening fixture of the 2020-2021 season. The soon to be 39 year old showed that his importance as a veteran of a very young squad will remain as crucial as ever. The youg squad is hoping to continue where it left off in the summer and the first indication was positive if not 100% reassuring. The moves being made to add depth and strength to the team will continue until the transfer window closes on October 5th.
In the meanwhile there is cause for immediate concern. Ibra is in isolation after testing positive for COVID-19. He will miss this week 2 match and will be out for another week at least. Rebic and young Colombo are the only alternatives available at center forward. The latter did a good job starting midweek in the Europa League qualifying tie vs Bodo/Glimt but the former is the likely starter up front. This leaves open Rebic’s more usual spot as a pseudo left winger. Leao has just returned from COVID-19 isolation himself and is not fully ready so newcomer Brahim Diaz will start there. Calhanoglu has been in great form as the central player behind the striker and will start with Saelemaekers as the disappointing Castillejo is going to be on the bench. The two in the 4-2-3-1 are of course normally Kessie and Bennacer but indications are the latter could get rest to give bigger minutes to the newcomer Tonali.
The defense is decimated with Duarte out after testing positive for COVID-19 earlier. Romagnoli and Musacchio are battling injury. This leaves only Gabbia and Kjaer (and possibly Kalulu) as center back options. Calabria has been doing very well recently and will be the right back and Theo the left back. Donnarumma will get the nod in goal.
Early indications are that Crotone could be one of the weaker teams in the Serie A and that the promoted team could struggle on most match days. It remains to be seen whether the Calabrese can surprise.
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