Week 31: Milan – Sassuolo

Follow the match as it happens, on the forum.

Amid the tough schedule that featured a loss to Juventus, a tie in the rescheduled derby and an up coming match against Napoli there is this home game against Sassuolo. The midweek tie vs Inter had some element of luck as Mauro Icardi could have won it for the cross city rivals. The Argentinian missed two open chances. The end result of the last two matches lowered the chances of qualifying for next season’s Champions League, which were small to begin with.

However, Gattuso’s work of turning around the team and providing that glimmer of a top 4 finish has been rewarded. He signed an extension to remain coach until 2021. It is a risk to extend any such contract midseason but the management of the team did what many others have done before them and gave the coach a big raise as well.

Midweek also brought news that sufficient money has been deposited to cover costs until the end of the season. The fact that a team like Milan is facing such deadlines or dates show that ownership questions are going to overshadow all other summer activity. Transfer activity and pursuit of big names may not only depend on Champions League qualification but also on the future of the team’s ownership.

As for the game at hand not many changes are expected, though there is always a question whether Cutrone will start up front or sit on the bench, in favor of Andre Silva or Kalinic of course. The midfield three, having not impressed in recent weeks, can be tweaked as well. Biglia, Montolivo, Bonaventura and to some extent Kessie have all been below par. The back four is as settled as it can get but with Rodriguez struggling, especially defensively, and Calabria being inconsistent the full back situation is hardly satisfactory.

Sassuolo have one solitary Serie A win in this calendar year and are missing Claud Adjapong and Francesco Magnanelli after both were red carded vs Chievo in midweek.