Week 10: Milan – Torino

Starting Lineup: 4-2-3-1
1
Tătărușanu
2
Calabria
13
Romagnoli
23
Tomori
5
Ballo-Touré
79
Kessié
8
Tonali
56
Saelemaekers
33
Krunić
17
Leão
9
Giroud
Substitutes

The fixture list only gets busier now. A midweek Serie A game comes three days after Milan almost threw away three points and a win at Bologna. The team played a more solid first half and went ahead 2-0 in the Renato Dall’Ara. One man up and expected to cruise to a win the hosts tied it before losing another man and finally succumbing 4-2. The injury list has played its part but Milan are leaking goals and struggling to find wins.

The time is short for most or all of the injured players to return however Theo tested negative for COVID-19 and will be in the squad. Ballo-Toure could still be as starter if Theo needs more training time. Kessie could also return from the flu. Pellegri is healthy enough to be on the bench at least. The rest of the absentees are unlikely to come back but Diaz hopes to test negative for the weekend and perhaps Rebic can shake off the injury for the weekend as well.

Tatarusanu will start with Calabria, Tomori and Romagnoli with the aforementioned Ballo-Toure. Kjaer is likely to be rested. Kessie and Tonali edge out Bennacer and Bakayoko for the starting pivots. Saelemaekers will get another start, on the weekend Castillejo gor the start but hobbled off with an apparent hamstring injury. Krunic and Leao are the only options up top. The latter has shown an increasing number of flashes of class but needs to show them even more often. Ibra got a rare start and played the whole 90 and 30 of it with Giroud. The Frenchman is going to be starter this time.

The inconsistent Torino and apparently not very happy Belotti might be slowly getting used to a new coach in Ivan Juric. Newly arrived Antonio Sanabria is the new coach’s starting striker, for now, as Belotti is a strong candidate for a Bosman transfer nest summer. Milan will continue to be mentioned as a possible destination.

Follow the match as it happens, on the forum.

Bologna 2-4 Milan, Notes On A Night When Points Were Almost Thrown Away

Bologna Milan

Still reeling from a large injury list – all of Rebic, Kessie, Diaz, Theo, Maignan, Messias, Florenzi, Pellegri and Plizzari out – Milan set out to overcome Champions League disappointment with a visit to Bologna.

A mostly uneventful first 10 minutes changed somewhat with a higher pace and a half chance or two. A warning to Milan came when a Bologna corner was missed by all and Tatarusanu looked indecisive.

A goal came soon after. Leao beat Lukasz Skorupski from a narrow angle with an emphatic hard high shot, the goal came from an Ibra assist and a good Ballo-Toure interception before it. The ball took a deflection going in but the play was a good quick one. Bologna got into further trouble after Adama Soumaoro took down Krunic bursting straight onto the hosts’ goal. The ref gave a last man foul and red card to the Frenchman and VAR confirmed it.

Milan doubled their lead. A Ballo-Toure cross found its way to the edge of the box where and on rushing Calabria with plenty of room shot hard to make it 2-0. Calabria had another chance before half time but shot high.

The half time 2 goal lead was a very good one and in contrast to the first halves midweek at Porto and a week earlier versus Verona.

Two half time changes were made one for an injured Castillejo and another seemingly not. Saelemaekers and Bakayoko came into the game. Bologna scored very early in the second half. A Bologna corner was diverted into goal by Ibra, it looked as if he tried to get out of the way but headed the ball in. What looked like a loss of concentration Bologna managed to tie the game shortly after. A nice pass by Roberto Soriano found Musa Barrow who beat the central defender well and beat Tatarusanu somewhat easily.

More drama arrived when the referee used the pitch side monitor to confirm Soriano’s stamp on Ballo-Toure’s leg. The Bologna winger wasn’t far from breaking the Milan player’s ankle and was given a red. Giroud came on for Krunic to try to regain the lead. The team struggled considering the 2 man advantage. Giroud heading well in the 82nd minute was the next good Milan chance. Bennacer finally gave Milan the lead. Once again a Milan player found lots of room just outside the Bologna box and this time with a low shot into the far corner made it 3-2. Just before added time Ibra made it 4-2 with a curler. Bennacer had taken advantage of the room available to easily find the Swede.

Harder than it should have been – with Milan 2 man up – but three points and another win is a good end to a disappointing week.

Week 9: Bologna – Milan

Starting Lineup: 4-2-3-1
1
Tătărușanu
2
Calabria
24
Kjær
23
Tomori
5
Ballo-Touré
4
Bennacer
8
Tonali
56
Saelemaekers
33
Krunić
17
Leão
11
Ibrahimović
Substitutes

The injury and unavailable list has grown even larger. The very poor showing at Porto in the Champions League was compounded by questionable refereeing and the list of absentees has grown to a baffling size for this week 9 match at Bologna.

The number of players out almost completes a whole 11 with Theo and Diaz both in COVID-19 isolation. Florenzi and Maignan recovering post surgery much like Messias and Plizzari. Kessie is out with the flu and Pellegri and Rebic have small knocks. The latter was hoping to recover from the injury suffered last week versus Verona but he needs a few more days.

So who is available? Can the team bounce back from the poor half or so versus Verona and the disappointing 90 at Porto? Looks like Tatarusanu will continue to be a starter with Mirante ready to step in. Calabria, Kjaer and Tomori will form the back four along side Ballo-Toure. The ex-Monaco man hasn’t looked a safe left back and a line up shuffle with Kalulu remains a possibility. Tonali and Bennacer will start in front of the back four. Castillejo came into the game versus Verona and managed a Man Of The Match performance, so much so that he was congratulated by his teams mates at the final whistle and was very emotional. He or Saelemaekers will start with Krunic and Leao behind Ibra. Krunic is pretty much the only viable attacking midfield option available for Pioli and Milan. Ibra should be ready for a start after several sub appearances. If not Giroud will start.

Bologna have had a mixed start to the new season in which they have lost 4-2 and 6-1 to Empoli and Inter respectively but have then beaten Lazio 3-0. Mihajlovic’s men sit in eighth place and feature Marko Arnautovic in attack this season. The controversial Austrian international returned to Europe after two years in China.

Follow the match as it happens, in the forum.

Champions League Match Day 3: Porto – Milan

Milan came back from a half time 0-2 deficit and beat Verona to maintain the unbeaten Serie A start. The Champions League has not be as kind. Controversial refereeing has done its part but zero points in two games has marked the return to Europe. In a group featuring Liverpool and Atletico beating Porto is a must. The first of two games versus the Portuguese is away and a handicapped Milan team need something if this European season is to continue beyond the end of the calendar year.

Beating Verona with more than a handful of absentees was a morale and confidence boost. Doing the same in the tournament Milan calls home would add even more.

The list of absentees added another name. Rebic is struggling with a foot problem and will miss the Portuguese trip. His absence is thought to be short term. Florenzi, Messias, Maignan, Hernandez and Diaz remain out but Bakayoko is ready to play, at least.

Ballo-Toure’s poor minutes versus Verona might exclude the French player from getting a second start in a row and there is speculation that Calabria will play as left back and therefore cede his right back spot to Kalulu. Kjaer looks to start in the middle of defense alongside Tomori with Romagnoli likely to return to the bench. In front of the defense Tonali will return to the starting line up with Bennacer. Kessie is suspended. The Ivorian was one of the victims of the aforementioned questionable refereeing decisions last month. Maldini underwhelmed in the weekend but Krunic is the only player available capable of being a nominal attacking midfielder. The Bosnian will play with Leao and Saelemaekers behind Giroud. Leao has looked closer to realizing his potential and can play a big part back in his home country.

Porto sit a point ahead of Milan in Group B and are second in the Primeira Liga behind Benfica. This past weekend they easily beat 3rd division Sintrense 5-0 in a cup game. 

Follow the match as it happens, on the forum.

Notes On A 3-2 Win Vs Verona Where Castillejo Was A Difference Maker

As much mentioned Milan are in the midst of an injury crisis – and not for the first time.

This match featured the often unfairly criticized Tatarusanu in goal. Verona took advantage of careless defending down the middle and Gianluca Caprari took on the ball straight down the middle of the box and beat the Romanian keeper. The defending failed abysmally. Verona looked more organized and defended or stopped the ball well. Milan were poor in execution and looked outmanned. Verona doubled their lead not long after, a breakdown in the Verona zone – where the referee shouldn’t have given advantage on foul – led to Verona getting the ball to the right of Milan’s goal where a penalty was given. VAR checked and decided that Romagnoli had made contact with Antonin Barak. Tatarusanu guessed right but the penalty into the far corner beat him.

Things didn’t get better as the team looked incapable of completing a play and get to the visitor’s goal. To add to the problems Rebic seemed to injure his foot and walked off to be replaced with Leao.

The half time couldn’t have come soon enough. The players looked to have lost their passing game and the team looked wholly dysfunctional.

In a sign of how decimated the team is the half time changes were Castillejo for Saelemaekers and Krunic for Maldini. The former change had Castillejo getting his first minutes of the season. Milan had an early hand ball penalty shout which was dismissed by the referee. The possession percentage started to trend upward for Milan with several corners and crosses yielding little. One of the said crosses finally worked. Giroud jumped well to direct a Leao cross. Castillejo provided more energy at least and Milan continued to probe more. Leao came close to typing when his curving shot just missed the far side. Minutes later a high foot made contact with Giroud’s head but nothing was called or even given as a foul. Castilljo’s hustle and hard work was rewarded when the defender made contact with his foot in the box. The foul looked similar to Verona’s earlier penalty. VAR gave the penalty and Kessie tied the game. Right after the tying goal Ibra came on for Bennacer. Gunter’s attempt at a clearance from a Samu cross went into his own net as Milan got their first lead of the night.

The new found lead meant that Tonali came on for Giroud. The game then featured several demonstration of Ibra’s skills and half chances. Milan made a come back seemingly against all odds.


Week 8: Milan – Verona

Starting Lineup: 4-2-3-1
1
Tătărușanu
20
Kalulu
13
Romagnoli
23
Tomori
5
Ballo-Touré
79
Kessié
8
Tonali
56
Saelemaekers
27
Maldini
12
Rebić
9
Giroud
Substitutes

The Serie A season has started well and sees Milan sitting in second place and unbeaten. Controversial results and refereeing has seen Milan start 0 out of 2 in the team’s return to Champions League. The number one story exiting another international break however is the injury situation.

Milan fans have been waking up to one injury news after another. Florenzi and Messias went out for several weeks after barely featuring. Bakayoko much the same. Ibra has been a virtual absentee. Krunic more or less the same. But things got worse this week. First Theo entered COVID isolation then news arrived that Maignan needs wrist surgery. The injury is apparently the same that happened when Luis Suarez landed on the goalkeeper’s wrist, or even earlier. If so it begs the question on why he kept playing and even worse travelled with France to the Nations League games. At the end of the day it is likely he will be out for 2 months. With Plizzari also out long term Milan had to search for goalkeepers. One that could be signed as a free agent and aid Tatarusanu and Jungdal. In came Antonio Mirante. The 38 years old most recently spent three years at Roma and was without a club.

But there is more. Calabria and Maldini are not 100% and joining them on the sidelines was Brahim, due to COVID and Rebic for a relative minor issue. Maldini and Rebic – along with Krunic – could be well enough to start but the depth of the squad is as stretched as it can be.

Tatarusanu is likely getting the goalkeeping assignment and in front of him Kalulu, Romagnoli, Tomori and Ballo-Toure should be the starters. If Calabria passes a fitness test he could claim his starting spot. Tonali and Kessie are more likely keeping Bennacer on the bench. Saelemaekers extened his contract to 2026 and is going to start with Rebic and Maldini. All behind Giroud, another recent COVID recovered player.

Verona, with new coach Igor Tudor at the helm started very poorly losing three in a row but haven’t lost any of their last four Serie A games.

Follow the match as it happens, on the forum.

Week 3: Milan – Lazio

Starting Lineup: 4-2-3-1
16
Maignan
2
Calabria
13
Romagnoli
23
Tomori
19
Hernandez
79
Kessié
8
Tonali
25
Florenzi
10
Díaz
17
Leão
12
Rebić
Substitutes

A dominant first half versus Cagliari made for a big and important 4-1 win heading into a busy international break. Milan’s relatively few capped players faced a grueling schedule with some three matches in two weeks. FIFA is cramming as many 2022 World Cup qualifying matches as possible in order to finish the pandemic enforced delayed games. Not every player played all minutes of course. National team coaches are forced into line up changes to rest players. Nevertheless the full schedule has affected player availability and this will affect the games at playojo casino top reviews in UK and elsewhere.

One such player is Saelemaekers. The Belgian played 183 minutes across three matches for Belgium and may be rested for this week 3 match. Florenzi is tipped to start in his place. The Italian played 64 minutes in one of Azzurri’s matches and made an error leading to a goal. In the international break Giroud tested positive for COVID-19 and has been self isolating. He was cleared only one day before facing Lazio and may be on the bench. Ibra is back in the squad after months out so Rebic is the likely starter. The same is said about Kjaer. The Danish likely needs a rest too and therefore Romagnoli could get the start alongside Tomori.

Calabria and Hernandez should be the full backs completing the defense in front of Maignan.

Elsewhere on the pitch Bennacer may start on the bench allowing a Kessie and Tonali tandem. Kessie is another injured returnee and his contract is turning into a saga and one that has angered many. Diaz and Leao will be other attacking players.

Like Milan, Maurizio Sarri’s Lazio have won their first two games. A relatively healthy squad of course features Ciro Immobile. The forward is doing well again, unlike when with the Azzurri. New Lazio player Mattia Zaccagni has had a good start following a loan from Verona.

Follow the match as it happens, on the forum.

AC Milan’s Race To Serie A 2021-22 Title

It has been a decade since the last time AC Milan won the Serie A crown. They were so close to getting it last season, but not until the other half of Milano, Inter Milan, surpassed them. 

With Stefano Pioli appointed again to lead the team, we can expect another great campaign. He was able to push the squad to a second-place finish last term, bettering top favourites like Juventus and Atalanta. 

But a new season is on the roll, meaning the Italian manager is facing a new set of challenges. Will they be able to overcome these or will they succumb to the weight of it halfway through the term?

Knowing these developments is vital if you want to start online betting. To help you launch your betting experience, try getting a welcome bonus from a trusted football trading platform. One of the latest promos is from VOdds where you’ll receive up to €/£200 sign-up rewards when you create an account today. 

Challenges

One immediate issue is how will Pioli build a strong team that can endure fixture congestion. Aside from Serie A, the UEFA Champions League will also be underway in less than a week.

The threat of injuries is always present and it’s hard to manage the players’ health due to tight schedules with little time to recover.

And AC Milan is more vulnerable to this considering the 39-year-old Zlatan Ibrahimović and 35-year-old Olivier Giroud are at the core of their strike force.

Another issue is filling the gap that Euro 2020 MVP Gianluigi Donnarumma left when he transferred to Paris Saint-Germain. For now, time will tell if his replacement Mike Maignan can transfer his impeccable performance from Lille to AC Milan. 

Performance so far

Same as last year, Pioli is relying on a fast start this season. AC Milan got their campaign up and running early when Brahim Díaz struck an early goal. This earned the team a 1-0 away victory against Sampdoria. 

In their next match with Cagliari, AC Milan played in their home stadium and treated the crowd to a 4-1 win. The first half of the game was jam-packed with goals, two of which came from Olivier Giroud who finally made his first official goals with AC Milan after his transfer from Chelsea. 

How to bet when AC Milan plays

The campaign just started and everything is still unclear. But if you plan to bet the whole season, it wouldn’t matter much whether AC Milan wins the Scudetto or not. Expert punters bet on most games to maximize time and profit instead of silently waiting for the finals. 

To start, you must choose the best football betting platform to place your bets. There are a lot of options, so make sure you’ll get one that has competitive odds and great betting limits as well as a swift payout.

Having direct Asian betting accounts should also be a priority so you can bet on diverse betting markets like live betting and Asian handicap betting with no worries. Plus, you should pick one that covers multiple football tournaments so you can bet on other popular sports events like the English Premier League (EPL), Bundesliga, and La Liga

The next thing to do is familiarize yourself with AC Milan’s opponents. You shouldn’t let your bias influence your bets. Research thoroughly and bet on or against AC Milan depending on who has the upper hand during each match. 

For example, on their next game, will AC Milan maximize its home advantage, or will Lazio soar? The two squads both have won their recent two games, claiming the top ranks together with Inter Milan, AS Roma, and Napoli. They are equally strong, but Lazio has more momentum as they have secured a total of 9 goals compared to AC Milan’s 5 goals. 

This match will most likely be a draw so to lower the risk, we recommend betting on Lazio using Asian handicap. Given that AC Milan is one of the bookies’ final-four favourites, Lazio then is the underdog. Whether Lazio wins or the game ends in a draw, you have a higher chance of winning using this strategy. 

You can also use this tactic in the fourth match between Juventus and AC Milan. But in this case, you should bet on AC Milan as they are the underdog in this matchup. Moreover, Milan has more chances of winning given Juventus has no wins yet despite being the top pick by online bookmakers and sports trading software. 

Once you get the hang of Asian handicap betting, securing bets across different matches will be a lot easier. 

Summer 2021 Transfer Window Wrap Up

The summer 2021 transfer window is now shut and Milan while active left some question marks for all observers and fans.

Maignan, Giroud, Ballo-Toure, Bakayoko, Messias, Florenzi, Pellegri and Adli
The eight summer 2021 arrivals

The window started earlier than most would have expected with Mike Maignan’s arrival as a replacement for the departing Donnarumma. The goalkeeper left on a free and chose to, at least for now, occupy the bench at PSG. Not getting a fee for the Euro 2020 player of the tournament and Calhanoglu – who departed to Inter – was to affect transfer business.

As is the case every transfer window Milan were linked with a whole host of players. From James Rodriguez to to Romain Faivre to Warren Bondo all were apparently close to joining Milan. Sometimes the fee was deemed too expensive, sometimes the wages. The pattern was always trying to get a player on the cheap, discount or on loan. Aided by numerous commercial deals Milan led by Ivan Gazidis was halving their losses but Inter’s troubles sent warning signs to all that even with Champions League participation all is not guaranteed. One could argue that Inter’s problems were exceptions as they are dealing with Chinese government’s whims but it is of course obvious that the pandemic and business climate in general makes it difficult for all those in living in the real world – not PSG apparently – to remain healthy financially.

When opportunities were found Milan were able to pounce. Ballo-Toure was one such and the left back is now Theo’s back up. When Pellegri was made available from Monaco a loan was quickly arranged for the oft injured but highly rated forward. Giroud’s apparent willingness to join facilitated a deal. A deal that should have been a free transfer but a small fee was a good price to pay for a veteran winning forward on a team lacking depth. A similar argument landed Florenzi from Roma. However the player’s position raised some question marks. The right wing featuring Saelemaekers and Castillejo had been begging for an upgrade but was the Italian to be an option there or is he is to play further back and support Calabria? Early signs point to the 30 years old as being a more attacking option.

Yacine Adli was a name that surfaced later in the window. The Bordeaux midfielder is said to be suited to both a central spot and an attacking spot. In any event he did sign a long term contract but returned to Bordeaux for one year. Also late in the window Bakayoko made a return to Milan. The Frenchman arrived on a two year loan. His relative long term loan gives the team some cushion and depth for midfield that may lose a big piece, more on that below.

As most were hoping against hope for at least one big signing for the central or right attacking spots names like Berardi, Vlasic, Ziyech and others came and went with the too expensive tag. The team secured a further two year loan for Diaz but the is he to be the backup or starter? In the last hours of the window the attention shifted to Junior Messias. Certainly not a big name and certainly not what most expected. Not only in age but also in experience the Brazilian is not the most typical Milan signing. The attacking player, at 30, has one year of top flight experience. He did well with the to be relegated Crotone last season and his story of arriving late to professional football, playing in Serie D as recently as 2018 and spending time delivering washing machines just a few short years ago is inspiring. If he delivers on the big stage his name will enter football folklore.

Player Summary
Name:
Junior Messias
Date of Birth:
May 13, 1991
Age:
30
Height:
1.79 m
Citizenship:
Brazil
Position:
Midfielder
Foot:
Left
Agency:
None
Ownership:
AC Milan
Contract Expires:
Jun 30, 2022
Current Club:
AC Milan
Joined:
Aug 31, 2021

The window began with Tomori’s loan converted to a buy, the near €30 million fee took up a big slice of the transfer budget. Tonali’s loan and obligation was then negotiated down and the player even took a pay cut to remain with his boyhood club. The aforementioned Diaz gave Milan a number 10 player.

The window ended with more question marks on exits and contracts. Castillejo was linked to the likes of Real Betis and Getafe but he ended up remaining. Conti ended up remaining as well. The two with ‘too high’ wages remain unaffordable to most other teams and remain a burden on Milan’s payroll. However it could be argued that Milan have two bigger problems on their hands. Romagnoli and Kessie have expiring contracts and they could, much like Donnarumma and Calhanoglu, leave on free transfers next summer. There was practically no news or whispers about Romagnoli’s status. Kessie on the other hand seemed to be demanding more every other day and it led to Maldini hinting at an exit for the Ivorian. Now that the window has closed and the two are free to sign precontracts with other teams on January 1st the team must find a solution and very soon.

Fans on sites and social media remain divided on a grade for this transfer window. On the pitch the team is showing signs of remaining a scudetto contender. The added challenge of Champions League football will certainly test the team and fans’ attitude.

Notes On A Dominant 4-1 Win Vs Cagliari

An unchanged side took the pitch with Bennacer still on the bench. An early half chance came from a Saelemaekers cross. Giroud was unable to get a good header on the ball.
Leao missed an excellent chance in the 9th minute, the ball found him free on goal, a very slight hesitation in finding the ball had the defender making a tackling interception and sending the ball out for a Milan corner.
The possession paid off, a disputed freekick near the box on Cagliari’s right was converted by an excellent Tonali freekick, shades of Pirlo. Boris Radunovic couldn’t reach to the near side ball in time.
Cagliari replied very shortly after, a slight marking mix up led to a Alessandro Deiola header that beat Maignan’s stretched hand.
It didn’t take long for Milan to retake the lead. An optimistic Leao shot hit Diaz in the box and bounced down then up into goal.
The 3-1 goal came in the 24th minute. A counter had Diaz with loads of space, the Spaniard found Giroud on the right side and while Cagliari’s defenders drifted to the middle the Frenchman had open wide space to increase Milan’s lead. Cagliari were struggling to keep their shape. The visitors threatened a bit more later in the half, for example off a corner in the 36th minute. Theo looked in better form and Saelemaekers working hard in getting the ball and winning it back.
Late in the half a Leao shot went off to a corner off of Strootman’s elbow, an initial freekick was changed to a penalty on VAR review. Giroud made it 4-1.

The second started with no changes for either tea. Cagliari attempted to wrestle control of the game but Milan looked confident and calm. Players like Saelemaekers regained possession, maintained it and moved around the pitch in confident manner. Leao came close from a long Calabria assist before being subbed out in a triple sub. The Portuguese, Tonali and Saelemaekers made way for Rebic, Bennacer and Florenzi.
Cagliari’s first threat of threat of the second arrived in the 77th minute when a low Charalambos Lykogiannis freekick was punched out by Maignan, in the subsequent action Leonardo Pavoletti came close again. The visitors grew in confidence as Milan relaxed a bit.
Maldini came on for Diaz with 6 minutes left in normal time. Rebic missed the bar after an exchance involving Giroud and Bennacer. Samu came on in added time, for Giroud. The Spaniard could be on his way in the 2 days left in the transfer window.

The returning 50% capacity crowd were given a good show and dominant performance to cheer for.