Week 23: Milan – Sampdoria

Follow the game as it happens, on the forum.

It is safe to say 2017 hasn’t started well for Milan. The team hasn’t won a game in over three weeks in a year only five weeks old. The dreams of finishing top three – or even that optimistic talk of top two – are rapidly fading.

The team is also suffering its first injury crisis in a long time. The injury issue has affected the full back situation most of all but has also hit the creative heart of the team.

De Sciglio will miss around a month after injuring himself versus Udinese. Antonelli, Abate and Calabria are fighting knocks and only the latter has a chance of making it for this Sampdoria match. That leaves the team with only one recognized full back in Vangioni. Vangioni has barely played of course and is well on his way to being on the list of worst Galliani signings ever. His fitness and/or lack of suitability is made even more stark when one sees that he is unlikely to start even in this situation. There is some tactical reasons for it, Sampdoria play with two center forwards in Muriel and Fabio Quagliarella, but Montella is contemplating using three central defenders in lieu of using Vangioni. If that is the case Romagnoli will get to play as a left defender/left back with Paletta and Zapata beside him. The whole back four situation has also turned into somewhat of a farce with the attempt to entice Martin Caceres to Milan. The Uruguayan is without a team and has passed a medical but is yet to agree on a contract. The need for a full back is urgent but it seems that Caceres will not be able to see action soon enough to be of help when needed most. He is therefore likely be another surplus signing if he is added to the team later instead of now.

The team will be missing Bonaventura the most, he is out for the rest of the season after injuring his abductor muscle and requiring surgery. Kucka, Bertolacci and Pasalic will be in the midfield and somewhat controversially it is said that Locatelli will be benched in favor of Sosa. Locatelli made a crucial mistake in the lead up to Udinese’s first goal last week and that came after getting sent off against Juventus days earlier. With talent and age firmly on his side he will surely return to the starting line up next week against Lazio. Up front the absence of Bonaventura will be filled with Deulofeu or possibly the latest Milan player Ocampos. The Argentina winger arrived at the deadline on loan from Marseille, via Genoa.