Monthly Archive: September 2016

Week 6: Fiorentina – Milan

Fiorentina Milan

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Week five threatened to be a poor one but ended being probably the best game of the young season. The on and off possibility of Montolivo losing his spot and other areas of the team like Abate needing to be better defensively dominated the build up but the 2-0 win vs Lazio was solid and included good performances from the midfield, with one noteworthy being Kucka. Bacca finished his run from the center circle well and scored and Niang took the penalty coolly for a much needed clean sheet.

Week six presents an arguably bigger challenge as Fiorentina will be tough to beat at the Artemio Franchi. Milan Badelj, often linked to Milan in recent months has been doing well and Fiorentina haven’t lost at home yet.

Little change is expected in the Milan line up. Donnarumma is of course in goal and the major talking point will be the full backs. Calabria and De Sciglio will likely be starters at the expense of Abate and Antonelli. Montolivo, Kucka and Bonaventura will start behind Niang, Bacca and Suso. Locatelli will likely get a few minutes and looks to be growing into a solid central midfielder.

The bigger news during the buildup has once again been about the sale. Reports surfaced that at least two bank documents submitted to Fininvest in the Spring may have been fake. This has been denied but doubts have resurfaced. It is hoped, and indeed was restated alongside the denials, that the closing of the deal is still slated for November.

Week 5: Milan – Lazio

Milan Lazio

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Week five arrives quickly on the heels of the week four win at Sampdoria. The lackluster and mediocre game at the Luigi Ferraris was turned into a win by a good Bacca finish. The same Bacca that had been dropped from the starting line up in favour of Lapadula. The official reason for Bacca not starting was rest but rumours before the match claimed a rift between the Colombian and Montella. Having been responsible for the win, courtesy of a good Suso assist, Bacca is sure to reclaim his spot for week five.

Meanwhile two other rightfully criticized players are on the verge of losing their starting spot, again. Abate started against Sampdoria at least in part due to both De Sciglio and Antonelli being out injured. Now that De Sciglio is back it seems very likely that Abate drops out. Locatelli came on as a sub at Sampdoria but not for Montolivo, Sosa was withdrawn instead. The word has been that Locatelli will now start as regista in Montolivo’s spot but it is just as likely that the oft maligned captain retains his spot for at least one more match. Bonaventura on the other hand, may be rested and the midfield looks to feature Sosa and Kucka, the latter having finished serving his two game suspension.

Up front Bacca will be flanked by Niang and Suso.

Ciro Immobile and Lazio come off a 3-0 vs Pescara and sit in 4th position after four games

Week 4: Sampdoria – Milan

Sampdoria Milan

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A rare Friday evening match follows after yet another disappointing result. The week 3 0-1 loss at home to Udinese provided another stark reminder that Milan needs a reset and a clear out urgently. The inability to play well and without fear for a full game needs to be fixed but it seems that the message is slow to get through to the coaching staff.

Two players in particular have been clearly responsible for the very poor start to the 2016-2017 season and yet they are the veterans who sometimes seem untouchable. Abate and Montolivo do not deserve to remain starters but despite Montella almost acknowledging it during the week they are both still likely starters. Abate starting versus Sampdoria may be understandable as De Sciglio is not ready and Antonelli only just escaped serious neck injury versus Udinese. Calabria and Abate are needed and will likely start on the sides of Paletta and Romagnoli, themselves not exactly having great starts.

If Montolivo does start it is anything but deserved and in fact shows weakness on the part of Montella, the midfielder has been a liability for a while now and should have no place, especially now that Sosa and Palisic are “vice Montolivos”. Niang’s return from suspension should push Bonaventura back to midfield and have him start with Sosa on the other side.

There has been late word that Lapadula will start in place of Bacca, in either case Suso will complete the front three.

Sampdoria have taken six out of nine points to start the season and narrowly lost for the first time at Roma last weekend.

Week 3: Milan – Udinese

Milan Udinese

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The international break provided time to digest the undisciplined mess that was the 4-2 loss at Napoli. Milan started well but collapsed after two relatively quick goals by Arkadiusz Milik. The Polish international, newly arrived at Napoli, somewhat uncharacteristically took and finished his chances. Niang and Suso did well to level the score back inside 55 minutes but the rest of the game and second half were a rather spectacular failure with Niang and Kucka getting reds too.

The latter two players are of course missing, new signee Mati Fernandez is injured and Bertolacci is not available yet. Reportedly Montella briefly toyed with the idea of using a 4-4-2 with Bacca and Lapadula or Adriano up front but indications are the 4-3-3 will remain and forced by absentees will feature Boanventura, Bacca and Suso up front and Poli, Montolivo and Sosa behind them in midfield. There is very little to inspire about this midfield trio. Perhaps Pasalic will get the chance to play a few minutes and showcase his talent. The defense, also somewhat disappointing so far, should feature Romagnoli and Paletta flanked by De Sciglio and Abate.

Udinese, possibly featuring Pablo Armero, are coming off beating Empoli 2-0 before the international break.