Week 1: Udinese – Milan

Season 2019-2020 is upon us and fans hope that this season is a real beginning, a true reset and restart. Aborted attempts at a “year zero” have dominated recent seasons while Milan’s revenues have fallen and the on pitch product has disappointed. Numerous coach, mostly inexperienced and mostly with connections to Milan, have come and gone. Marco Giampaolo could be different, he as no Milan connections and has a track record of helping younger players and provide an actual tactic. The 4-3-1-2 or any other tactic must not be imposed unless the players available to the coach suit the characteristics. The summer transfer window has been mixed to disappointing so far but one more week of it is left and perhaps player(s) long sought after will arrive and fit well. Correa might finally arrive, at great cost, and one hopes he is really that well suited to Giampaolo’s two forward system and is worth the price.

For now though, Week 1 looks to be a deja vu. Leading up to the game none of the summer arrivals seem to be in line to be starters. For now there is no sign of Bennacer, Krunic, Duarte and Leao although the latter has the best chance of getting minutes. Whether or not the reasons are justifiable it is fascinating to see how different the same players will do under a new system and coach.

At least with the seemingly imminent exits of Laxalt and Strinic the left back picture is clearer. Rodriguez will start until Hernandez is fully healed. On the other side Calabria is preferred to Conti and the struggling Musacchio will partner Romagnoli in the center of defence. Biglia has a knock but apparently Bennacer is not considered ready because all indications are that Calahanoglu will start in the middle of the pitch. Calhanoglu as a regista is actually mentioned by pundits and fans before so it will be a useful experiment at least. He will be flanked not by Kessie and Bonaventura but by Paqueta and Borini! If it doesn’t go well and the full backs are exposed there will be some questions after the match.

Suso had an okay time behind the two forwards in preseason. Will the inconsistent winger continue to do so? The question might be answered when he lines up behind Castillejo and Piatek. Castillejo as a non winger or psuedo second striker has not and does not look promising either and Piatek’s preseason form was nonexistent.

Udinese will feature a familiar name up front in Kevin Lasagna and the hosts have not changed drastically during the summer.

The season is about to start with many questions, follow the match as it happens, on the forum.