The week 14 match at Lazio ended with a sensational last second Theo header that allowed Milan to stay on top of Serie A. The mood to end 2020 was in stark contrast to how 2019 ended after the humiliating defeat to Atalanta that December. Milan’s record of scoring more than two goals in a game was therefore extended. Milan enter 2021 with an enviable 2020 calendar year record of played 48, won 32, tied 13 and lost only 3.
The injuries are still a concern but at least another stat is an important indicator of the growth of the team in that Milan have managed to keep winning without Ibra in the line up. The Swede will miss another few days with the calf problem. There is relief in Kjaer’s availability but Bennacer, Saelemaekers, Gabbia remain out. The former two may be ready to return by the second half of January and the fixture list needs all of them. January features seven (or possibly eight including the Coppa Italia quarter finals) matches, again.
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A busy January awaits Milan
@ Benevento 18:00 January 3 2021
vs Juventus 20:45 January 6 2021
vs Torino 20:45 January 9 2021
vs Torino 20:45 January 12 2021 (Coppa Italia round of 16)
@ Cagliari 20:45 January 18 2021
vs Atalanta 18:00 January 23 2021
@ Bologna 15:00 January 2021
The back four will be missing one of the top stars of 2020 as Theo has accumulated yellows and is suspended. Dalot is the back up to play along side Romagnoli, Kjaer and Calabria. Kessie returns from the same yellow suspension to line up with Tonali behind what looks like a Rebic, Calhanoglu and Diaz trio. Castillejo is not 100% and is to start on the bench. Leao will start up front as he did versus Lazio.
Back in 2017-2018 Benevento were making their Serie A debut and had reached December with exactly zero points. While breaking a Serie A record of 14 consecutive losses they managed a last second point courtesy of their goalkeeper and Juventus loanee Alberto Brignoli. Later that season they beat Milan 1-0 while on their way to getting relegated. This earned them a bogey team title. This season, under the guidance of Filippo Inzaghi, the Stregoni are a different team and currently sit midtable.
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