A win against a direct rival is a passing grade. By beating Napoli away 3-1 on week 8 Milan remained unbeaten in the Serie A. The midweek tie versus Lille was a bigger struggle against a pressing, solid team and with the injuries to Ibra, Leao and Saelemaekers the tie looked deserved. Most observers have expressed concerns about the likes of Tonali and Romagnoli but the results have remained mostly positive.
Surprisingly Saelemaekers seems ready to return after being seen in crutches only a week ago but Ibra and Leao need more time. The news on the latter two is still positive as their injuries look to be short term. Late in the week news arrived of an injury to Bennacer but it remains to be seen if it will keep him out for this match or any length of time. As of the time of writing it does not look like it is a cause for concern. Losing him would be a blow especially since the aforementioned Tonali has not adapted and barring the pinpoint pass to Rebic – that led to opening goal – in the Lille game seems out of sorts.
The rest of the 11 is mostly predictable and it does highlight the need for some enforcement as early as January. Rebic, in particular, looks to be best suited for the left wing role and not as an Ibra deputy up front. Other spots such as right wing and central defense are of course mentioned often as well. Kessie got the midweek game off as stand in coach Bonera made the right choice in letting the player rest. Of course the Ivorian will be back to his spot. So did Calabria and he too will be back.
Fiorentina are relatively healthy and feature several oft mentioned players and two former Milan players. Franck Ribery, Nikola Milenkovic and Dusan Vlahovic are starters for the recently re-appointed Cesare Prandelli and they count on Cutrone and Bonaventura as possible and almost certain starters.
Bonera will be the main man on the sidelines as we await the green light for Pioli and Murelli’s return from isolation.
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