Week 18: Cagliari – Milan As The Pandemic Causes Chaos
The results have remained mostly positive and Milan continues its position at the top of the table. The injury situation seemed to be heading away from the crisis mode that earlier had up to seven regulars out. However, the COVID-19 pandemic has pulled the team back into a crisis. Rebic and Krunic tested positive almost two weeks and are still not cleared to return. This week amid some confusing news when Calhanoglu and Theo missed training on Friday – but Theo returned to training on Saturday – both were declared positive and will miss some time. Saelemaekers has made the squad but may not be ready for minutes and Bennacer still a few days away. Gabbia remains a more long term casualty.
Transfer activity has the team signing Meite from Torino and close to adding experience in the form of Mario Mandzukic and with more to come. For this match Nikos Michelis, Enrico Di Gesu (both midfielders) and Emil Roback (forward) have been called up from the primavera to have enough bodies on the bench. Dalot will deputize for Theo in the back four with Romagnoli, Kjaer, and Calabria. Kessie and Tonali will be the two pivots with Meite a candidate for some minutes. Up front Pioli may have little choice but to use Castillejo, Diaz, Hauge and Ibra. Leao is serving a one game suspension for yellow accumulation. His latest in the game versus Torino was very clearly a refereeing mistake. With Inter having beaten Juventus the race for the top spot is now tighter.
Cagliari feature several notable players in Joao Pedro, Radja Nainggolan and Diego Godin all with experience and history against Milan. The Sardinians however sit in 17th place with Eusebio Di Francesco struggling yet again to get his team going. Cagliari added Alfred Duncan on loan from Fiorentina just days ago and he is due to start.
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