Week 12: Genoa – Milan
Week 11 versus Parma proved a difficult match. A Milan team missing Ibra, Kjaer and Saelemaekers struggled to get through Parma’s organized defensive lines and lost two players to injury as well. First Gabbia went down early with a knee issue and then Bennacer held his hamstring while being substituted. Both subs did well in relief as Kalulu was forced into a Serie A debut and Tonali got some unexpected action. The quality of the back ups was and is welcome news of course but Milan is now even more short in midfield and defense especially. Immediate reinforcements are required when the winter transfer window opens in January.
Theo rescued Milan with a brace and his speed and contribution proved crucial in getting the 2-2 tie and to preserve the unbeaten run. He will line up at the back with Romagnoli, Kalulu and Dalot while Calabria will be given a night off. Tonali and Kessie will need to hold the midfield fort for now. Saelemaekers was set for a return to the right wing but news emerged that he will sit this one out too therefore it will be Castillejo with Calhanoglu and Leao behind Rebic. There is some thought that Leao should be the one spearheading the line prompting Rebic to return to the left wing spot that had him in better form last season. Having said that Leao also struggled as a second half sub versus Parma, but he was inserted into the game as a sort of right winger for those 45 minutes. In any case the historically busy fixture list requires all players to contribute as the schedule will remain at two matches per week for the next little while. These now include the upcoming Coppa Italia match at Torino and the Europa League matches versus Red Star Belgrade in February.
Ibra was targeting this, and indeed the Parma match, for a return but for now it is thought that he will only return in the coming weekend week 13 match at Sassuolo. Kjaer is also close to returning.
Genoa have won only once this season and their only Serie A win was all the way back on week 1 vs Crotone. The 19th placed team features a long injury list that includes Davide Zappacosta, Goran Pandev and Cristian Zapata.
Follow the match on the forums, as it happens.