Week 36: Torino – Milan
Milan surprised and shocked the world and its fans in particular by beating Juventus by 3 goals away. The week 35 win increased the chances of a top 4 finish and perhaps confined Juventus to a season outside of the Champions League. Pirlo’s team seemed uninterested and disorganized and Milan opportunistic and more motivated. The inclusion of Diaz in the starting 11 – thus moving Calhanoglu to a more left sided position – was met with pessimism but the Spaniard scored the opening goal with an excellent curling effort to gain extra fans. Rebic and Tomori added to the euphoria by beating Wojciech Szczesny and co. Kessie could even afford to miss a poorly taken penalty.
The match was not all good news as Ibra left the pitch with an injured knee and Saelemaekers got a yellow. The former will miss at least a week and perhaps the rest of the soon to end season and the latter is suspended for this match at Torino.
Pioli is once again forced into line up juggling mode. Castillejo is the natural but not the popular replacement for Saelemaekers. Rebic is the likeliest to replace Ibra. Leao could be excluded from the starting 11 as Diaz and Calhanoglu reprise their roles upfront. Kessie and Bennacer will likely get the nod again in midfield and it is hoped that Bennacer can move closer to regaining his full form. Calabria and Theo were solid at Juventus and will look to start again. The same applies to Kjaer and Tomori. The latter scored his first Milan goal with a well taken header and he is now one step closer to becoming a full Milan player.
Donnarumma has still not made his future team choice and the rumours linking him to Juventus may cool if the old lady is unable to compete in the Champions League. Their fate could be sealed before the final game of the season which is only in 10 days.
Torino’s form has somewhat improved in recent weeks and their relegation fears have faded somewhat. Andrea Belotti could yet be on the move in the summer with any of Roma, Napoli and Milan ready to pay a relatively discounted fee for the striker.
Follow the match as it happens, on the forum.