Monthly Archive: March 2023

Week 27: Udinese – Milan

Udinese – Milan March 18 2023 20:45CET

While every other rival for the top spots was dropping points Milan threw away the chance to gain on them and only managed a tame 1-1 tie versus Salernitana. The top four spots and Champions League places are anything but the most secure. The last weeks of the 2022-2023 season will be hard fought to preserve the riches of European football. In the meanwhile Milan found their fate in this season’s UEFA competition. The quarter finals pair Milan with Napoli. Milan were drawn in the more manageable side of the draw – along side Napoli, Inter and Benfica – and if things fall into place anything is possible.

With Napoli matches coming in April Milan has Udinese to play before the international break. Few surprises are expected. Other than Messias being out and Theo being ruled out late in the week with the flu the team is available for selection. Maignan, Kalulu, Thiaw and Tomori are the backbone with Ballo-Toure expected to replace Theo. Bennacer, Tonali and Saelemaekers should be the other starters behind Diaz, Leao and Ibra. The latter looks to get a start since Giroud ruled himself out with a yellow last weekend.

Milan sit in fourth place with a possibility of falling further behind if Juventus’ 15 points deduction appeal succeeds. This being Serie A and Italy that is very much a possibility. Udinese sit in midtable but will miss a familiar name through long term injury. Gerard Deulofeu is out after knee surgery earlier in the calendar year.

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

Week 26: Milan – Salernitana

Milan – Salernitana March 13 2023 20:45CET

With one eye on the Champions League second leg match at Tottenham it was Milan returning to tame losing ways at Fiorentina. The week 25 2-1 loss in Tuscany was an opportunity lost to further solidify a Serie A top four spot. After holding Tottenham to 0-0 tie and progressing to the quarter finals of the Champions League Milan get another chance at making sure there is top European football next season. Roma, Lazio, Inter and Atalanta all dropped points so three points against Salernitana will prove even more valuable.

The injury list is still looks unfamiliar in its size. Only Messias is on the missing list with all others available to Pioli. Not that this makes the lineup very unpredictable with a few notable players always underused. Maignan is one of the stars of the team with his presence making a big impact. Kalulu, Thiaw and Tomori will hold the line at the back hoping to eliminate mistakes that allow the opposition score. Krunic and Tonali are the first names for the midfield even with Bennacer available. Krunic has done well in recent weeks and has earned the praise of some fans despite being dubbed – in a not so positive way- a Pioli favorite for much of his Milan career. Theo and Saelemaekers should be the two so called wing backs behind Diaz, Leao and Giroud.

Salernitana, featuring Krzysztof Piatek and his three Serie A goals so far, sit close to the relegation spots and are in the midst of a somewhat roller coaster season.

Week 25: Fiorentina – Milan

Fiorentina – Milan March 4 2023 20:45CET

Week 24’s 2-0 win versus Atalanta added to the resurgence after a disastrous start to the calendar year in January. Four shuts in a row playing with a back three has restored some of the hope of a good finish to the season and a Champions League place.

The team has gotten healthier too. For a brief moment every single player on the roster was available for selection but Diaz is out pending further tests. Milan enter this week 25 match at Fiorentina with a near full squad and just in time before the Champions League return at Tottenham too. Maignan’s return has furthered the confidence of the team or so it seems. He will of course whenever healthy and the back three will likely continue to feature the youthful Kalulu, Tomori and Thaiw trio. While Pioli has more to select he and Milan will be missing Leao and Krunic due to suspension (yellows accumulation). This could mean that De Ketelaere gets more minutes, or not. Rebic will most likely replace Leao on the left. Giroud will get another start with a possibility of Ibra getting more sub minutes. Calabria could get the start after a few weeks out. Tonali and Bennacer will play in the middle.

Vincenzo Italiano’s Fiorentina could be considered one of the underachievers of the season as 12th place is not what some expected of the Viola. Riccardo Saponara and co will try to extend their 4 game unbeaten streak after going.

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