Week 27: Milan – Udinese
After beating Inter, tying Juve and beating Lazio in the Coppa Italia a tie versus Salernitana was a let down but almost inevitable. The dropped points could have been more costly than they turned out to be because on the same weekend Napoli tied with Cagliari and Juve with Torino and there were losses too with Inter against Sassuolo and Atalanta against Fiorentina. Somehow Milan are two points ahead of Inter for Serie A’s top spot (though Inter have a game in hand).
Udinese have rarely been easy opponents but a response to the Salernitana setback is needed. The defensive shape will remain as is unless injuries or suspensions occur. Maignan in goal will start behind Calabria, Tomori, Romagnoli and Hernandez. Bennacer’s yellow on week 26 means the double pivot choices are less suspenseful and will be Tonali and Kessie. The latter remains an almost certain free summer departure while Renato Sanches’ name keeps coming up. He of the same agent as Rafael Leao could be one of two arrivals from Lille – alongside Sven Botman.
Saelemaekers’ form makes it somewhat easy for Pioli to pick Messias. The Brazilian scored an early goal against Salernitana, one which at the time signaled a possible easy game against the Salerno team. Diaz and Leao will line up alongside the 30 years old and behind Giroud. Ibra’s return to the pitch is almost always unknown but word is he could be ready for the Coppa Italia semis first leg coming up on March 1st versus Inter.
Romagnoli, Hernandez and Diaz are one yellow away from missing an important week 28 match coming up at Napoli.
Gerard Deulofeu’s Udinese have struggled of late and sit in 16th spot.
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