The unbeaten streak is history courtesy of a strong Lille performance. The Europa League opponents have given Milan and perhaps Pioli in particular a reminder or lesson that lineup decisions will matter. Despite the need for rotation every team must be taken seriously. Starting Castillejo and Krunic, more often than not, will not be a recipe for success. Despite that, this young Milan team was always going to hit bumps on the road and it is up to all and especially veterans like Ibra to lead the way back to winning ways.
Calabria missed the midweek match with a minor muscle issue but could be back. Dalot was good but not great in relief versus Lille but will go back to the bench if the Italian right back is ready. The other three defenders will remains the same though Romagnoli’s form is questionable if not poor. The alternatives will get some minutes when possible. Gabbia, Duarte and Musacchio don’t inspire too much confidence but will need to step sooner or later although the latter may not see minutes before leaving the team. Kessie and Bennacer will start and the latter’s absence was felt against Lille. He was a second half sub and the midfield and team structure looked better when he came on as Tonali continues to establish himself and integrate slowly. The bigger questions are of course the aforementioned Krunic and Castillejo. Leao, Rebic, Hauge and Saelemaekers should be starters more often and preferred whenever possible. Ibra is of course Ibra and when he does need rest Rebic or Leao will provide relief.
Verona are an improving and aggressive team. Sitting in seventh place Juric’s team have only allowed three goals but scored only eight. They are led by the (not) Milan legend Nikola Kalinic.
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