Europa Matchday 2: Milan – Sparta Prague

The congested schedule has teams playing twice a week and this second matchday game vs Sparta Prague comes a week after the 3-1 win at Celtic. Fatigue is an even bigger of an issue with this pandemic disrupted fixture list. In addition to the obvious strains on players teams have to manage with COVID-19 positive cases. In Milan’s case the list now includes Hauge and Gigio Donnarumma.

Tatarusanu did not impress in his first outing replacing Donnarumma in goal and already questions are being asked. It is of course too early to count him out and it is likely that he hasn’t lost his place at all. In case he does, which Pioli denies at least for now, Antonio Donnarumma will play until his young brother tests negative and returns. Other lineup changes should be expected because more games will be coming fast. It is good that Milan does have alternatives in some spots. The depth is not great by any means but counting on Diaz, Castillejo and Tonali as backups is still better than some recent seasons. Calhanoglu and Kessie would benefit from rest. Kjaer would too but the only dependable alternative is Gabbia and it is doubtful he will be used often even when back from isolation. A central defender should be found in January. Rebic is close to returning but won’t be available for this match so the left sided attacking position is short of players.

Sparta Prague sit in first place and undefeated early in the Czech 1st League season but lost their Europa League opener 1-4 to Lille.

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