Week 32: Milan – Sassuolo
Amid big news overshadowing the events of the past three days there is a midweek match to play with big repercussions for the top 4 spots in the Serie A. The European Super League was suspended within 48 hours of being announced. The exclusive competition that its members wanted to kick off as early as this fall would have made the top 4 fight and indeed the Serie A standings meaningless. The threat of such a thing happening has died, for now.
The long injury list was on the verge of being reduced to only one player, Maldini, but it has grown again. Calabria returned to training and with him the squad was healthy but suddenly Bennacer, Ibra and Hernandez are back on the sidelines. There are also questions about Calhanoglu’s status. None of the players look to be out for a long stretch but with seven games left in a very tight season every game is important.
Romagnoli returned to the team last week but Pioli seems rightly hesitant to break up the Kjaer Tomori partnership. The latter was somewhat responsible for Genoa’s goal during the weekend but both defenders were solid otherwise, including a double goal line clearance near the end of the match. Dalot and Calabria will be the full ack starters. Reports indicate Pioli prefers Meite to Tonali to replace Bennacer. Further up the pitch Saelemaekers will partner Calhanoglu and Rebic. Krunic is on standby for a start. Leao is likely the only option up front. The Portuguese hasn’t yet elevated his game to the point of being trusted but, publicly at least, retains Pioli’s trust.
Follow the match as it happens, on the forum.