Week 26’s 1-0 win against Sassuolo was far from impressive, the San Siro visitors controlled the midfield better than their midtable position and form (only two wins since the start of December) might indicate. Stefano Sensi in midfield and Jeremie Boga did well and pushed back Milan on numerous occasions. The goal was credited as a Pol Lirola own goal but Musacchio was closest and had a part in diverting the ball towards the goal. In the second half the Sassuolo goalie was red carded. Andrea Consigli misjudged the bounce of the ball and made light contact with Piatek just outside of the box as the Polish striker was about to run past him towards the wide open goal. Gattuso would be criticized for adapting a defensive mode despite being one man up and inviting pressure instead of going for a second goal. The three points mattered most and along with another Inter hiccup Milan found themselves third in the table.
Milan now visit last placed Chievo a week before the derby. The predicted lineup features a few changes perhaps in part due to the tougher tasks ahead. There is also an enforced absence because Rodriguez got a late yellow vs Sassuolo. Laxalt is expected to start in his place. Conti, Musacchio and Romagnoli will line up alongside the Uruguayan. In the middle Bakayoko is expected to give way to the returning from injury Biglia. Up front the underperforming Suso will retain his spot. By now Gattuso has shown that he will stick with players through rough patches. Borini or Castillejo could start in Calhanoglu’s usual spot on the left of Piatek as Cutrone find minutes hard to come by for now.
Chievo have a sole win this season and are led by another 23 years old Pole in Mariusz Stepinski. Sergio Pellissier, the long time leader of the team is out through injury.
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