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I agree.. we are not the same Milan from years back.. we are not that much better than Olympiakos or Betis.. sure our name, prestige and glamour is better.. but quality wise besides a handful of players.. we are more or less about level..
Olympiakos is more or less a CL side. They have been a mainstay in the CL and cause problems for any team that plays them. It will definitely be a hard game away at their stadium.

We should easily (if we are not complacent) beat Dudelange twice.

Betis has some interesting players. William Carvalho, Guardado, Canales, Bartra, Lo Celso (just joined on loan from PSG), Tello, Javi Garcia. I know most of them are kind of like a "blast from the past" players, but there sure is some quality in that squad. They will be a problem.

Still, I think we should be able to navigate this group and win it.....if we take it seriously. If we start playing 2nd string line ups (read Borini, Mauri, Abate, Bertolacci, etc), then we will even risk qualification I think. This group isn't like last year's. Teams like Betis and Olympiakos will cause problems even with our strongest line up.

Here is the fixture list:

Dudelange - Milan
Milan - Olympiakos
Milan - Betis
Betis - Milan
Milan - Dudelange
Olympiakos - Milan

This is by far the best possible arrangement of fixtures for us. We start of by beating Dudelange and then we play both our toughest opponents at home back to back. We play Dudelange at home in the 5th fixture where we can easily get a win if we need to in order to clinch. The toughest game, imo, is the Olympiakos away game and at that point it may not even matter to us anyway.
(09-01-2018, 02:59 AM)nefremo Wrote: [ -> ]Olympiakos is more or less a CL side. They have been a mainstay in the CL and cause problems for any team that plays them. It will definitely be a hard game away at their stadium.

We should easily (if we are not complacent) beat Dudelange twice.

Betis has some interesting players. William Carvalho, Guardado, Canales, Bartra, Lo Celso (just joined on loan from PSG), Tello, Javi Garcia. I know most of them are kind of like a "blast from the past" players, but there sure is some quality in that squad. They will be a problem.

Still, I think we should be able to navigate this group and win it.....if we take it seriously. If we start playing 2nd string line ups (read Borini, Mauri, Abate, Bertolacci, etc), then we will even risk qualification I think. This group isn't like last year's. Teams like Betis and Olympiakos will cause problems even with our strongest line up.

Here is the fixture list:

Dudelange - Milan
Milan - Olympiakos
Milan - Betis
Betis - Milan
Milan - Dudelange
Olympiakos - Milan

This is by far the best possible arrangement of fixtures for us. We start of by beating Dudelange and then we play both our toughest opponents at home back to back. We play Dudelange at home in the 5th fixture where we can easily get a win if we need to in order to clinch. The toughest game, imo, is the Olympiakos away game and at that point it may not even matter to us anyway.

Good assessment!

What could counts is also the priority of Olympiakos and Betis in this tournament. The Greek and Spanish clubs would give their best in this competition while for Milan I dont think we will fight hard in the qualification. There should be some changes especially for important players or positions like Hakan and Higuain as our focal players and Biglia, fullbacks as they have decent backups.

Nevertheless we should aim top of the group. The 3 fixtures favor Milan like you said. We will play againts Betis and Olympiakos at home first. However we should also check what Serie A fixtures we had before and after the game, this should influence Gattuso to decide which players will play.
Dudelange would be easily beatable but we play them in their home ground in their first ever Europe league game. They will be highly motivated and it's the worst time to play them I think. Could be tricky.
Olympiakos is just a name ... (some might say "like Milan" unfortunately).
Betis could be a difficult draw.
About Dudelange, we'll face a team with an amateur level guys ... well, not really but our B team must win that kind of games qquite easily ...
I am still not sure if we should take UEL seriously or not...
we should, the prize is ucl, and any competition should be taken seriously, it is also an indication if we can play consistently every week with a midweek game available when we got into cl, you dont want us to lose our gas in the mid season when our players doesnt even adapting to the 2 games a week when we reach ucl later right?
we should. other than the reasons that you mentioned, it is also because it is better than nothing. plus, in Milan's history, we have never won this trophy (UEFA Cup/Europa League). That should be the only meaningful trophy that we are missing from our cabinet.
Inter and Napoli along with Club Brugge and Galatasaray join the Europa from CL
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