Europa League Matchday 6: Sparta Prague – Milan
The come back win versus Celtic and Lille’s win versus Sparta Prague mean that this last group stage match has little consequence. The outcome of this and Lille’s match in Glasgow can change which of Lille or Milan finish first and perhaps get an easier round of 32 match up in February in addition to a slightly bigger UEFA money bonus for winning an Europa League group. Despite that it seems necessary that this will be an opportunity to rest a great number of starters. The schedule that features seven matches in December almost requires it.
Indications are that the aforementioned rotation will happen with Romagnoli, Calhanoglu and Donnarumma left off the squad. Bennacer, Kjaer and Ibra are out injured but all are close to returns. Leao is in the match day squad and may get some minutes.
The likes of Kalulu, Duarte, Maldini and Colombo could get rare minutes. In Kalulu’s case this could be his first non-friendly action of the season. This level of rotation has left fans wondering who could wear the captain’s arm band. Based on who may start and seniority on the team this would fall to Castillejo. The Spanish winger has scored goals in the last two Europa League match days and scored last weekend at Sampdoria. Whether all this means he would remain a Milan player into next season should and is still open to debate. Kruni is another candidate for a start and is another that may have no place on the team into next year. it is also a possibility that Rebic gets to play and perhaps get into goal scoring form. The Croatian has been mostly solid but has not scored a goal this season.
The Czech team are certain to finish third in the group and will be playing for pride. Their recent league form has been poor and may see them more concentrated on their upcoming 1. Liga matches.
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