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.
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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.
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.
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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 schedules has affected player availability.
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.
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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?
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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.
The summer 2021 transfer window is now shut and Milan while active left some question marks for all observers and fans.
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.
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.
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.
Week 1’s one 1-0 win at Sampdoria didn’t provide too many surprises. The team did well but but there was little in the sense of new revelations in tactics or approach. There were flashes from the likes of Leao and Tonali. Giroud somewhat misfired. Maignan had couple of heart in mouth moments but was very solid otherwise. Tomori was a wall. Calabria, as captain, continued where he had left off last season. Theo was still being individualistic and when passing or attempting a final shot was way ward. Krunic’s start was explained with that Bennacer was not fully ready. Florenzi made his Milan debut. Diaz started in excellent form and scored the only goal of the match. One late sub caught the eye. Romagnoli came on for Calabria with mere minutes left and the two players exchanged the captain’s armband. Despite continuous rumours little has been said about the status of Romagnoli. The team can not risk losing him for free next summer but will he even want to stay as a full or part time bench player. The management have lots to do in the final days of the window having also been given another headache in the form of Kessie’s apparently high demands.
The starting line up versus Cagliari is not expected to differ much from the norm, perhaps Bennacer will regain his starting spot in Krunic’s place. Pioli was very complementary of the Bosnian in the news conference leading up to this week 2 match. Most fans would beg to differ.
Maignan seems to be good ball playing goalkeeper and the team will grow in confidence with him with more minutes and games together. There is little indication that the Tomori and Kjear partnership will be broken up so they will line up at the back. Kessie is working hard to return to the lineup but may end up leaving if his contract issue is not settled. His agent has asked for more than Milan are willing to offer and judging by how Maldini and co dealt with Donnarumma and Calhanoglu’s demands anything can happen. More depth may and frankly must be on it way for the right wing and central attacking midfield position but for this match Diaz, Leao and Saelemaekers will line up behind Giroud.
Cagliari opened the season with a 2-2 tie versus Spezia. Joao Pedro scored both of Rossoblu’s goals. Dalbert, Kevin Strootman and Diego Godin are few of other familiar names on the Sardinian team.
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Olivier Giroud became a part of Milan on a long-term basis for a low but not free sum. Lat month the French star had his physical for his move to Milan. He also expressed gratitude to his fellow athletes for the fond memories he made during his three-and-a-half-year tenure at Chelsea.
Giroud’s signing price is said to be about €1 million (£855,000), with a further €1 million (£855,000) in incentives. The incentives are contingent on a certain number of matches and Champions League progress. Giroud stated his desire to win titles after signing with Milan. He went on to say that trophies are the driving force behind his passion for football. He’s a perfectionist who wants to succeed again and again and claim more trophies to his name.
Who Is Olivier Giroud?
Olivier Giroud is a well-known French football player who currently represents France at the international level. Giroud is widely viewed as one of the world’s most underappreciated attackers due to his technical ability, athleticism, strike force, and continuous goal-scoring abilities.
Giroud began his professional club career with Grenoble, where he was born, before joining Tours in 2008 at the age of 21. After ending the season as the league’s leading scorer, he was awarded Ligue 2 Player of the Year in 2010. In 2012, he went to Montpellier for a €2 million club-record contract, earning the club’s debut Ligue 1 championship and emerging as the league’s highest goal scorer.
In his own words, Olivier is a professional athlete and a perfectionist. He loves winning and loves trophies even more. He loves taking risks because he believes in the outcome. He is a risk-taker, pretty much like online casino players. If you are also a risk-taker, you can take a look at novibet.co.uk and learn more about an online casino before trying your luck.
At the age of 25, Giroud earned his professional public appearance for France in 2011. Since then, Giroud has amassed over 100 caps, participating in five major championships. He is the second-highest scorer in the history of his country. As France emerged as runner-up at UEFA Euro 2016, he was also awarded the Bronze Boot as the second-highest scorer. He went on to win the brilliant and exciting 2018 FIFA World Cup and play in the UEFA Euro 2020 tournament.
What Is Happening Right Now?
Since signing Arsenal in 2012, Giroud has had a great deal of success in the Premier League. Chelsea bought him from Arsenal in 2018. Now, he is at Milan for a first taste of Italian football. Milan finalized the acquisition of France senior striker Giroud from Chelsea. Giroud, who will become 35 in September, signed a two-year deal with Milan at the San Siro. The Blues offered an incentive to extend his contract until 2022 earlier this year. However, the experienced striker was interested in a new center forward experience with Milan to further his career at a team he has said he watched often.
Milan’s return to the Champions League is almost here. It all starts with the group stage raw set for August 26 at 18:00 Central European Time. The long absence from the European competition means Milan is in pot 4 – see pots below – along such teams as Sheriff Tiraspol and Club Brugge.
The groups will be added here as the draws takes place.
Milan are drawn in Group B facing Atletico, Liverpool and Porto. The teams offer differing styles and will all be big tests for Milan. Milan will visit Liverpool on match day 1. The 6 group stage match days are:
Liverpool – Milan 15 September 21:00
Milan – Atletico 28 September 21:00
Porto – Milan 19 October 21:00
Milan – Porto 3 November 18:45
Atletico – Milan 24 November 21:00
Milan – Liverpool 7 December 21:00
Updated September 3 2021
The A list and B list for the group stage are now officially released, followinjg home grown and maximum 25 players rules Milan has decided to exclude Castillejo, Conti and Pellegri. Castillejo may leave the team on loan to CSKA Moscow as the Russian transfer window is still open.
Calabria, Ballo-Toure, Romagnoli, Hernandez, Kalulu, Tomori, Kjaer, Florenzi, Bakayoko, Gabbia
Bennacer, Tonali, Diaz, Krunic, Saelemaekers, Kessie
Giroud, Ibrahimovic, Leao, Rebic, Messias
Plizzari, Desplanches, Jungdal
Di Gesu, Robotto