Monthly Archive: February 2016

Week 27 Preview: Milan – Torino

Milan Torino

Week 26’s tie at Napoli was an improvement over the 4-0 home loss to Napoli earlier in the season. It was achieved with Zapata and Alex forming a surprisingly solid defensive partnership in Romagnoli’s absence. The midfield disappointed again and Montolivo’s yellow earned him a suspension for this game vs Torino.

Torino are the visitors for week 27 and Romagnoli is said to have recovered from illness and should start, however an Alex – Zapata pairing may happen again. Torino’s back line contains two names sometimes linked to Milan. Milan’s aging defense is likely to be with out one or more of Mexes, Zapata and Alex next season and although defenders Kamil Glik and Nikola Maksimovic may never become Milan players a few attentive eyes will be on them again.

Kucka and Bertolacci will play in the center of midfield along side and Honda and week 26 goalscorer Bonaventura. Balotelli was again in the news after controversial Berlusconi comments about his skin colour and future but even without any questionable words Bacca and Niang are the only real two starting forward options.

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Week 26 Preview: Napoli – Milan

Napoli Milan

An unusual Monday evening match turns out to be one of the season’s biggest. The reverse fixture last October was a 4-0 home loss and perhaps best highlighted the current Milan’s fall from grace.

Fast forward some four mouths and Milan are in better shape with a healthy unbeaten streak but Napoli present a tougher test than recent matches and other than losing to Juventus and falling to second place in the process have been the team of the season so far.

The build up to this match has featured Silvio Berlusconi celebrating his 30th anniversary as team owner and president and yet again talking about an ‘Italian Milan’. One of the cornerstones of the aforementioned Italian identity is of course 21 year old Alessio Romagnoli. Midweek news had the center back missing the game due to flu and fever, however news late in the week has been less certain and it seems likely that he can make the bench at least while Zapata and Alex start. Elsewhere Abate should return and be joined by Antonelli for the full back positions.

The midfield is likely to be unchanged with Bonaventura, Bertolacci, Montolivo and Honda. Niang and Bacca will try to do better than Higuain and co and deliver much needed points. Follow the match on the forum.

Week 25 Preview: Milan – Genoa

Milan Genoa

A disappointing draw vs Udinese in week 24 nevertheless extended Milan’s Serie A unbeaten streak to six games. The game didn’t feature Bonaventura but fears that he will miss more games were allayed when he was passed fit and included in the squad to face Genoa. Kucka and Abate however miss this match with knocks. Niang is available but not fit enough to start therefore the starting line up may feature Balotelli alongside Bacca in attack.

Leonardo Pavoletti, recently linked with Milan, is not fit and the attacker will not be able to showcase his talents at the San Siro. On the other hand Suso, on loan at Genoa, will be able to and has the talent to trouble Milan’s defense.

The aforementioned defense was likely to remain unchanged until news of Abate’s injury late in the week. It is therefore likely that De Sciglio will start with Alex, Romagnoli and Antonelli. In goal Donnarumma has been the subject of rumours with big teams apparently willing to pay big money for the soon to be 17 year old keeper. He continues to impress and should remain an untouchable player but at the same time it must not be forgotten that he is yet to prove anything. His stature is growing week after week but can only be proven season after season.

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Week 24 Preview: Milan – Udinese

Milan Udinese

A second clean sheet in a row vs Palermo in midweek, a derby win before it and a five game Serie A unbeaten run have made the season slightly more interesting. The manner of the last two wins have been relatively impressive to make room for cautious optimism for a top 5 place at least. The future remains uncertain at best however with the ownership situation questioned once more during the week. It is not impossible to envision a summer that will see more cuts instead of what was hoped to be further investment.

Heading to face Cyril Thereau and Udinese  – who are in the midst of a 5 game winless streak – comes news that Bonaventura will miss this game due to a combination of fatigue and hip problem. It is thought that Kucka and Bertolacci will both start along side Montolivo and Honda to complete the 4 man midfield. The options up front are limited therefore Niang and Bacca will be allowed to continue to provide the offence. The defense will welcome Alex’s return after being rested for the Palermo game.

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Week 23 Preview: Palermo – Milan

Palermo Milan

With the resounding 3-0 derby win resurrecting the lost season it is time to set a consistency mark and win again. At least this is the hope, a hope to climb the standings and remain competitive, the anti climactic transfer window aside. With no significant arrivals and a few departures the team remains reliant on what is available and has actually lost some depth. It should be hoped that midfield and defense, with no less than 3 expiring contracts, shortcomings will be addressed in the summer.

Palemro are up next and feature Gilardino and recently signed Cristante as former Milan players. Coming off a tie vs Carpi and sitting in the bottom half of the table the ever changing Sicilian team can nevertheless trouble Milan.

If this game wasn’t a midweek one would fully expect no line up changes, the derby win provides a platform to pick an unchanged team and go for it. It is still possible that the line up will remain unchanged however it won’t be too surprising if Zapata starts in Alex’s place. The Brazilian’s good performance vs Inter notwithstanding.

Bacca and Niang are virtually no choice starting forwards until Menez is fully fit. Honda, Montolivo and especially Kucka and Bonaventura deserve to retain their midfield spots.

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