The new calendar year has gone south. Milan are in full crisis allowing goals by the bucket and looking like a dysfunctional team. Lowly Sassuolo were the latest team to highlight this abysmal post World Cup slump. Allowing five goals at home wrote another unwanted chapter in Milan’s history with many questioning every member of Milan family from management to players. Pioli’s insistence on a formation that is failing badly has been the focus but management’s public unwillingness to do anything in the January transfer window and the players themselves are of course all to blame as well.
Inter and others near the top of the table are not exactly flying high but of course Milan have dropped from their long held second place position in the Serie A table. Napoli seem to be running away with the title but Milan can still recover and hold one of the top four places. This needs to start with response and statement in this week 21 derby.
There have been rumblings that Pioli will try a new formation, whether it be 433 or 352 there has to be an effort to solidify the midfield. The usual lineup predictors at Sky and Gazzetta provide different versions of the is possibility with the latter claiming that both Messias and Saelemaekers will start. This possibility will make Milan’s right side look poor and will surely not come to pass. The back four have looked much worse than recent times and need to be more compact and aware of their positioning to return to the days they were praised for holding the fort and providing highlight recoveries. Having Tatarusanu as the goalkeeper is probably not the best confidence boost for any one and it is a mystery as to why Pioli does not even entertain the idea of using Mirante or even new signing Vasquez. Maignan’s return from injury, hoped for later in February, is very anticipated. Ibra trained with the team for the fist time in a long while but his return date is not known. Other absences include Tomori and Bennacer. It will be left to all healthy players to provide a show of strength in this derby.
Unsurprisingly Inter’s injury list is much shorter than Milan’s. They now sit in second place, 13 points behind Napoli (before week 21 matches).
There is always more about this match and others on the forums.