Monthly Archive: November 2016

Week 14: Empoli – Milan

Empoli Milan

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Week 13 and the latest edition of the Milan derby didn’t end the way Milan fans hoped but the point earned in the 2-2 tie is nevertheless valuable. Inter enjoyed the bulk of the possession and Milan could be faulted for sitting back a bit allowing the very late Inter tying goal. However, Suso’s value was enhanced and his two goals added to his status.

Romagnoli’s presence was missed in the derby and while declared fit he might not be risked vs the weak offence of Empoli. The Tuscan team have scored only 6 times in 13 Serie A games and only two of those at home. The low return may mean little however as players like Massimo Maccarone have a habit of raising their game vs Milan. Empoli also feature Milan owned Jose Mauri but he hasn’t featured regularly since being loaned there.

Surprisingly indications are that Montella is making other changes and rotating the squad. Bacca is an enforced one – to be replaced by Lapadula – after picking up an injury late in the derby but reports also say that the starting midfield will feature both Pasalic and Mati Fernandez in place of Kucka and Bonaventura. The latter may be pushed forward with Niang also not starting.

The back four will likely remain the same as the derby with a slight chance of Antonelli replacing De Sciglio.

Week 13: The Milan Derby

Milan Inter

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The win at Palermo, with Pasalic finally getting a start, was again less than impressive and again featured a spectacular goal, this time it was hardworking sub Lapadula cheekily diverting Suso’s low shot into the far corner, this after the Spaniard had opened the scoring himself. Ilija Nestorovski had tied it in between the two Milan goals and the game had been on and off at best. The importance of these three points can be highlighted when seen in direct comparison to the struggles versus similarly placed team during the 2015-2016 season. Last season Milan dropped many valuable points against the likes of Verona and Carpi. The team owes its current third placed standing to winning such games.

The latest edition of the Milan derby comes after an international break, a time when Milan often seem unprepared, whether it be due to the the layoff or the tiredness of players returning from international duty. One key member of the team who would usually be most affected by any fatigue is Bacca but in the latest installment of the break he played a grand total of 14 minutes for Colombia in their 2 games vs Argentina and Chile.

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Inter started the season once again expecting more and with a new coach in Frank de Boer. Their early season games included beating Juventus, but it has been mostly downhill and de Boer hasn’t even survived the team’s downfall. Now in a somewhat underwhelming choice it is up to Stefano Piolo, he formerly of Lazio, Bologna and many others, to try to limit the damage. Perhaps of greater impact is and will be Walter Samuel joining Inter’s ‘backroom staff’.

Meanwhile Milan looks to be closing in on finally being sold to the Chinese but even this late there are questions as to who is really buying the team but it is expected to be a done deal in December. Meanwhile incoming CEO Fassone and sporting director Mirabelli seem to be preparing for the sale with the latter travelling and watching many games across Europe.

In player news Donnarumma will have Mino Raiola as his agent as soon as he turns 18. The infamous agent is already talking up his future but one thing is certain and that is Donnarumma will need to stay a Milan player and his progress will be more than welcome in many derbies to come.

Elsewhere Romagnoli is going to miss the derby after hurting his groin on international duty vs Germany but otherwise the starting 11 will likely remain predictable and that includes Bacca keeping his spot ahead of Lapadula. Suso and Niang will start up front with the Milan number 70. Kucka, Locatelli and Bonaventura will be in midfield and Abate, Paletta, Gomez and De Sciglio get the nod at the back.


Week 12: Palermo – Milan

Palermo Milan

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Week 11 brought a sometimes lacklustre 1-0 win vs newly promoted Pescara. The win was a more than welcome three points after the massive disappointment at Genoa. Boanventura’s ‘under the wall’ freekick goal kept Milan near the top of the standings at a time when the closing of the sale to the Chinese seems very close. The sale, still shrouded in somewhat of a mystery, should be finalized by December and with it the hope of investment starting as early as January.

Many names are starting to be linked with Milan and those include a fair number of Chelsea surplus players. Fabregas is an attractive name that may be available on loan but Ivanovic would be an unwelcome addition. Interesting times are certainly ahead and with Palermo sitting 19th with five out of five home losses this is a game that almost demands three points.

Niang was set to miss the Pescara game with the flu but he ended up starting. He is almost certain to miss this game with the same flu! This should push Bonaventura forward alongside Suso and Bacca. The latter caused a mini controversy by showing, not for the first time, displeasure when being substituted in the 84th minute vs Pescara. For a day or two at the beginning of the week it seemed like the Colombian would be dropped but he is set to start. Pasalic got his Milan debut and played 28 minutes vs Pescara and did enough to earn a start alongside Locatelli and Kucka. Paletta returns from his one game suspension and should start with Romagnoli, Abate and De Sciglio.