Week 8: Empoli – Milan
Empoli vs Milan October 1 2022 20:45CET
The week 7 home loss to Napoli was a disappointment, consensus was that Milan played well and it was indeed the case. The lack of finishing and opposition opportunism lost the game. Tactically Milan have looked as dynamic as ever, the pressing as impressive as ever but the sometimes high line has not worked as well. Kjaer and Tomori started as center backs and yellows in the first meant that Pioli, in hindsight wrongly, brought on Kalulu (for Kjaer) and Dest (for Calabria) which somewhat backfired. Dest gave away a penalty which has now marked his, so far very short, time at Milan as a failure.
The disappointment was evident in post match interviews and the international break has brought on more problems. Theo and Maignan injured themselves and will be unavailable for important matches that include this trip to Empoli but more importantly the Champions League match at Chelsea and in at least Maignan’s case the week 9 Juventus match and perhaps more. Maignan may be replaced on the UEFA squad list if his injury is noted as lasting longer than 30 days.
In the case of this match at Empoli the goalkeeping assignment falls on Tatarusanu but the bigger issue who replaces Theo. Ballo-Toure is not the most trusted but is the primary candidate for the left back spot. Whispers that Calabria or Dest could start as left back may not be close to reality. Calabria himself is not fully fit but is available and so is Tonali. Tonali has been declared fit and his availability is one less headache. Pobega may get the nod ahead of Bennacer for this match. Upfront Rebic is set to be back on the bench but with no Origi the task falls on Giroud. Leao, Messias and De Ketelaere are the likely other starters.
Empoli have won one of their first seven matches in this 2022-2023 Serie A season with only six goals for. The team is led up front by Sam Lammers. The former PSV player is on loan from Atalanta.
There is always more about this match and others on the forums.