Week 29: Milan – Genoa
Follow the match as it happens, on the forum.
Week 28 proved controversial, almost as expected. Playing against Juventus has always meant to provide moments that will equally enrage and disappoint every opponent. The last second penalty that gave the win to Juventus has almost universally been judged to have been the wrong call. The cross that hit De Sciglio’s hand has not been a penalty decision in a normally officiated game in years, the distance from the attacker’s feet to the hand of the defender was calculated to be less than two meters and the hand was not stretched out to any great measure. At the end of the day anger and player protests after the penalty have meant that Bacca and Sosa are suspended for this Genoa match, the former for protesting after the whistle and the latter for getting a second yellow. They are joined by Romagnoli who got a yellow earlier in the match and is suspended too.
To add insult to injury Suso remains injured. He missed the Juventus match after seemingly being ready in the build up to last Friday’s match but is now due to miss at least two more week due to a muscular injury. Abate has not been called up but the report is that his eye problem is now fine and he should be back after the upcoming international break.
There was very worrying news on the team sale front as the third and promised €100 million has not arrived. Reports of Chinese government efforts to halt large scale capital exit from China has the potential to bury this deal altogether. Another extension is unlikely and it now seems that Fininvest and Berlusconi, however unwillingly, may hang on to the team.
Genoa travel to the San Siro with Adel Taarabt as a likely starter. The Liguria team have been sliding down the standings and have won only once in the last 10 games.
The lineup for this match will look different than the best possible, by necessity of course. Lapadula is to take Bacca’s spot with Ocampos and Deulofeu flanking him. Montella has a decision to make as to who to use in midfield and with Locatelli not exactly an automatic starter, still for unknown reasons, the coach seems likely to use Bertolacci in the middle. Beyond that any two of Pasalic, Mati Fernandez and Kucka will start around him. Back in defense Vangioni may get another start with Paletta, Zapata and De Sciglio lining up to his right. The hope is that the players available for this match will channel the anger from the Juventus match into a positive and grab three points to stay in touch with the European places. Donnarumma kissing the Milan badge at the end of the match in Turin gives us hope that the commitment to the team will compensate for some of the missing talent.