Week 18: Lecce – Milan

Lecce – Milan January 14 2023 18:00CET

Milan threw away a two goal lead versus Roma and settled form one point. Subs and team attitude were questioned after the game with a many highlighting the state of the transfer market. The summer 2022 transfers that include the not so cheap De Ketelaere have played little and contributed much less. Could the transfer market be considered a flop and could Pioli be in the wrong for not using the players more. Either way the week turned further negative with a lackluster 0-1 Coppa Italia exit at the hands of Torino, all at home.

A long injury list has sidelined Maignan with his return from a calf injury seemingly being postponed multiple times. He is missed as goalkeeping has emerged as a weak point. Tatarusanu and the front four (or three) in front of him can not keep clean sheets and despite some good game minutes and games in front of them the team has looked out of sorts.

Tonali will miss this Lecce with a too many yellows suspension and it is likely that one of the aforementioned summer 2022 transfers will not be the one to start in his place. Pobega looks to be preferred to Vranckx. The Italian scored last week against Roma and will get a start with newly extended Bennacer. Bennacer signed an extension to 2027 with a reported salary (€4 million) more than twice his current one. The attacking players are likely to be predictable in Saelemaekers, Diaz, Leao and Giroud. The latter two’s contract situation may be close to being resolved with multiple reports that Leao will accept somewhere along the lines of €6.5 million. The back four also holds little surprise with Calabria, Kalulu, Tomori and Theo trying to hold the fort.

Lecce, featuring Samuel Umtiti on loan from Barcelona, sit in the 11th spot having drawn with Spezia in their first post World Cup game.

There is always more about this match and others on the forums.