Week 16: Milan – Salernitana
Milan beat Shevchenko’s Genoa 3-0 to calm the concerns after two losses in a row vs Fiorentina and Sassuolo, in which the team allowed seven goals. Tomori’s return was a defensive boost and so it showed. There was however almost immediate bad news. Within two minutes of the start Kjaer went down and had to be stretchered off. It is now confirmed that the Danish defender will miss six months after undergoing left knee ligament surgery. Romagnoli, suspended for the Genoa clash, will deputise and it also almost certainly means that the January transfer window will require an incoming central defender.
Playing the last placed team has not always been a safe bet for Milan and of course the three points will be crucial in trying to keep pace with Npaoli, Inter et al.
The injury situation makes it near impossible to pick a team and even less so predict it from the outside. Maignan will start in goal with Kalulu (or Florenzi), Tomori, Romagnoli and Hernandez in the back four. Bennacer is not fully fit therefore the midfield options are two of Kessie, Tonali and Bakayoko. With an eye on the upcoming midweek Champions League match vs Liverpool the tough choices will have be made by Pioli. Rebic, Castillejo and Giroud are out and Ibra has played a lot of minutes. This could mean the red hot Messias gets another start with Diaz and Leao forming the three behind the center forward. The latter had a day off midweek at Genoa and will be fresher. Saelemaekers is an option too of course.
There have been whispers that Pellegri is not very happy with the minutes he is getting but injured, unfit or otherwise he has recently played a part in games. He might be in line for more minutes as the aforementioned Ibra must be reaching his limits in minutes he can play, especially with the two matches a week fixtures.
Salernitana is now Franck Ribery’s home. He is however not a certain starter. The Campania region team have won two of the 15 games so far in their return to the Serie A for the first time in 23 years.
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