Week 21: Empoli - Milan (Saturday, January 23 - 20:45 CET)
After our victory against Fiorentina at the San Siro, we play away to Empoli this Saturday. I haven't watched them much this season but I know that they can be a bit of a tricky team and Saponara has been pretty well for them. They are currently only one point behind us in the table so we definitely can't expect a walkover here. I expect them to take fewer risks than Fiorentina which means that we will have to find some creativity to break them down. After beating Carpi and Fiorentina, let's try to make this three wins in a row!
Siamo a posto cosi.
We have to win! Simple as that. We have dropped way too many points against smaller teams so far and had we won those games, we could even possibly be 3rd right now. Let's hope that this second half of the season will be different and that we can grind out wins against teams like Empoli, especially away.

I know that we need to focus on ourselves, but it's kind of relevant to us right now to also look at the teams ahead of us. Unfortunately not everything is in our own hands after a bad first half of the season, so it'll be critical that the teams in front of us drop points as well.
Roma plays away at Juventus, and I would say that's at least a 75% Juventus win......so if we beat Empoli we will have the same amount of points as Roma, 35.
The rest of the teams ahead of us actually also have tricky games with Fiorentina playing Torino and Napoli playing away at Sampdoria. Inter has a fairly easy game against Carpi, although Carpi just beat Sampdoria 2-1 last week, and previously they beat Udinese 2-1, tied away to Lazio 0-0 and lost 3-2 to Juventus.

This may turn out to be a week where a lot of our competition drops points, and so far this season we have never capitalized on that. I hope that we win our game and gain a few points on a couple of teams.
Empoli this season is on fire. We need to win, but I don't think we can do it.

Hopefully Adriano will sub in and save our ass! Big Grin
The performances against Roma (2nd half) and Fiorentina gave me some hope, to be honest. On paper we are much stronger than Empoli, and it seems like Miha is finally starting to get consistent performances out of the team. Obviously Empoli are doing very well at the moment, but especially with the derby at the end of the month we can't afford to drop points this weekend.

This season we actually seem to be doing better against the stronger teams. I worry that Empoli will sit back and let us control the game, which will not be to our advantage. We don't really have a midfield that's good enough to dominate matches, so we're better off employing the kind of tactics we saw against Fiorentina, where we let them play and then hit them on the counter.

If we win, I think it'll be a hard fought one. 2-1 to us or something.
You are right. We don't have what it takes to control the game tempo. We will need to sit back. The good thing is that Empoli will play at home. Maybe they will try to attack, and let us steal a few goals. Big Grin
MILAN - Sinisa Mihajlovic had this to say at the press conference:

“Since I arrived here the lads have been perfect. We are a united and healthy group. I am proud of these lads. At all times. We have always been compact and we have had discipline. Without that, we are not going anywhere. I played in a national team that was called the "Brazil of Europe", not winning a lot because everyone did what they wanted. Talent without discipline does not help in life. the lads have understood that and I am happy.

“Empoli is the real surprise of the season. They have 20 points from the last 10 games and have only lost against Juventus and Inter. They play openly and to win. It will be very difficult. They play very well. Congratulations to Giampaolo, but we have the quality to win. We will need the will to win, generosity, personality, what we saw against Fiorentina. We cannot take Empoli lightly but if we play like we know how we can win.

“We have overcome a difficult week and now we are expecting it to be an equally difficult weekend. The exams never end. We think about one game at a time and see what we can do. I am pleased because when there is trust and serenity you work better. It all depends on us anyway. We know that only by winning and playing well we can close the mouths of the critics. I have not heard from Mancini. Since I have become a coach I have only had problems with water bottles. I know both Mancini and Sarri. I think Sarri is not a racist and he made a mistake. He admitted it himself. Sometimes things are said on the pitch, and I know it well, even when I was playing. We coaches have to lead by example. The tension and the pressure makes you say things you do not think. As for Mancini, what we know, you have to respect his sensitivity and his character. I would have handled it differently, speaking man to man, but then again it is a bad episode that has previously been condemned. It is not as if a war broke out anyway, so we think about football.

“I am pleased Luiz Adriano is back. He has always behaved well and is back and available again. We will take him to Empoli and now we evaluate who will play. We have plenty in attack now. It seems almost a miracle. When Menez comes back we will offer champagne to everyone. Boateng and Balotelli are recovering and can be decisive during the game. We are really very happy for Luiz Adriano. You need to talk to the doctor about Menez. Tomorrow, Diego Lopez with Mexes will have check-ups. They are not in full training so we will see when Diego Lopez is fit.

“The championship is still open. If we play like we did against Fiorentina we stand a good chance. I would like to see more continuity in my team. We have the right characteristics and I saw them after Fiorentina. Against Fiorentina it took generosity, cynicism, attitude, desire to win. These are all things that depend on us. We can win if we show them. We have to put together so many positive things to give consistency to our results. I never doubted my stay here. I have a contract and a clear conscience. I work hard and always keep going. I can only worry about my team and the next match. Then what will happen will happen."


"Obviously the tranquility of the atmosphere is directly linked to the results we get. We want to continue as like this. There have been many opportunities to step up and we didn't take them so now we want to prove everyone wrong and we want to take that step forward. We beat side that was ahead of us and that was very satisfying, so we are happy. My playing style has changed over the years, as I have got older. Before I used to play higher up the pitch, now I am more of a ball winner and more of a holding player. I always try to help the team especially when our opponents counter attack. Maybe I struggle to help out in attack but that is what is needed at the moment and I am happy to do it."


"Right now we are ready for Empoli. It will be a difficult game because they are playing well and they are a good team. We must win and keep doing well in order to move up the table. We are convinced we can go to Empoli and pick up three points. Why not aim for a Champions League spot? There is still a long way to go, we picked up three very important points against Fiorentina and now we must add consistency to our results and keep going against Empoli. We must finish inside the top three to play Champions League football next season."
MILAN – Coach Sinisa Mihajlovic has called up 23 players for the match at Empoli on Saturday, 20.45:

GOALKEEPERS: Abbiati, Donnarumma, Livieri

DEFENDERS: Abate, Alex, Antonelli, Calabria, De Sciglio, Romagnoli, Zapata

MIDFIELDERS: Bertolacci, Bonaventura, De Jong, José Mauri, Kucka, Montolivo, Poli

STRIKERS: Bacca, Balotelli, Boateng, Honda, Luiz Adriano, Niang
We know that only by winning and playing well we can close the mouth of Berlu. 😛

I didnt watch vs Fio, but just play as unit and be cynical on 2-3 clear chances we got just like in prev. game. No need to play beautiful, all we need now is 3 points as to keep the momentum going. Forza Milan!

Sent from my LG-D855 using Tapatalk
aka edysim
(01-23-2016, 05:35 AM)edysim Wrote: We know that only by winning and playing well we can close the mouth of Berlu. ?

I didnt watch vs Fio, but just play as unit and be cynical on 2-3 clear chances we got just like in prev. game. No need to play beautiful, all we need now is 3 points as to keep the momentum going. Forza Milan!

Sent from my LG-D855 using Tapatalk

No, he won't shut up either. he will find a way to take credit. Big Grin
EMPOLI: Skorupski; Laurini, Tonelli, Barba, Mario Rui; Zielinski, Maiello, Buchel; Saponara; Maccarone, Pucciarell. Allenatore: Marco Giampaolo

MILAN: Donnarumma; Abate, Alex, Romagnoli, Antonelli; Honda, Montolivo, Bertolacci, Bonaventura; Niang, Bacca. Allenatore: Sinisa Mihajlovic