Monthly Archive: April 2022

Week 35: Milan – Fiorentina

Week 34’s match at Lazio could have all but ruled out a Scudetto. For a seemingly long time Immobile’s early goal seemed to be doing just that. Milan recovered however and attacked well. First Giroud and then Tonali in added time injected optimism with a 2-1 win while taking advantage of Lazio’s less than impressive defending. Further positivity arrived in midweek when Inter lost their game in hand losing 2-1 in Bologna.

Armed with a two point lead at the top of the standings Milan start the final four weeks of the season versus Fiorentina. I Viola had a six game unbeaten streak going before losing to Juventus in the Coppa Italia semifinals and then conceding six goals in losses to Salernitana and Udinese. The match will be another test for Milan’s progress and growth because it is almost certain Fiorentina will return to their best when facing Milan.

The starting 11 is unlikely to change too much. Lack of options is still perhaps Milan’s biggest weakness, a problem it is hoped will be addressed in the summer – possibly after the rumoured Investcorp takeover. For now Maignan will start in goal behind Calabria, Kalulu, Tomori and Hernandez. With Bennacer not fully fit it is up to Kessie and Tonali to guard the back line and transition for the often disappointing front line. The front line is likely to feature Messias, Diaz, Leao and Giroud. All four have had good and bad moments this season but the bad has handcuffed Milan and the dropped points could yet prove fatal. The former two may have done enough to exit the team in the summer.

When looking at individual performances it is surprising to see Milan head the table this late into the season. The collective and coaching deserve credit for where Milan stands now and if further help arrives in the summer the team can aim for more consistency and success. For now Champions League qualification is secured and with it promises of more revenue, whether with Elliott as the owner or the Bahrain based Investcorp.

There is always more about this and all Milan matches on the forums.

Week 34: Lazio – Milan

Starting Lineup: 4-2-3-1

Milan had scored an important win and actually scored goals in beating Genoa last weekend but yet another controversial match featuring highly questionable refereeing ended Milan’s Coppa Italia run. The team may not have deserved to reach the Coppa final and the team’s recent attacking struggles were still on full display but Italian football is not helping itself with the quality it offers in many respects, including its officiating.

The final five matches of the season won’t be easy and maintaining the lead over Inter – whose one game in hand will be played next week – to win an unlikely scudetto is going to be big challenge. A trip to Lazio comes first.

The blunt attack is not helped by the Ibra’s perpetual absence. The lack of options is further exposed when the Swede is basically a non playing member of the team. Giroud, much like all his teammates, is struggling and Lazetic is not a ready deputy. The Serbian was supposedly signed for the senior team but is too young and raw and may not even stay for next season. A loan away for experience seems likely.

The biggest news of the week featured yet another buyer rumour. Elliott have quickly denied previous such whispers but this looks somewhat more serious and Bahrain founded Investcorp might be able to snatch Milan from Elliott’s hand for around €1 billion. Various credible sources claim an exclusive period of negotiation is underway with the state of finances and a stadium of course the main points being looked at. This writer wonders if Elliott have given up their stated goal of not selling before building a stadium.

On the pitch, the team is set to be predictable again. Florenzi, Ibra and Kjaer are of course missing. Rebic remains a walking wounded, the Croatian was apparently ready to come on during half time of the Coppa match but is not fully fit. This all leaves the lineup easy to guess with Diaz and Messias’ participation, in place of Kessie and Saelemaekers, the only real question marks.

The Lazio squad may be missing several players who are battling illness but their main weapons are ready. Ciro Immobile, Mattia Zaccagni and Sergej Milinkovic-Savic will line up to win and Luiz Felipe and Francesco Acerbi will try to contain Milan’s tame attacking force.

There is always more about this and all Milan matches on the forums.

Lazio – Milan play on April 24 2022 at 20:45CET

Week 33: Milan – Genoa

The offence has dried up. It is perhaps little surprise when Ibra is perpetually injured, Giroud is not exactly in his prime and the player supposed bought specifically for the senior squad – Lazetic – is not only playing for the primavera but may be loaned out for next season. Add to that Leao’s form has dropped off a cliff, to the point of ‘may be Milan should consider a sale’.

Thankfully things on the opposite side of the pitch are as solid as ever. While Milan have only scored three times in the past five matches – and only 9 in the last 10 – the team has not allowed a goal in the last 5 Serie matches – and only 4 in last 10. Divock Origi might arrive on a Bosman to bolster the offensive options but the team requires lots more.

All the while Milan still sit in first place however Inter threaten to overtake Milan as early as this Easter weekend. Milan sitting at the top this late in the season is a major surprise in itself therefore some satisfaction is warranted no matter how the season may end. But a Champions League place has always been a must.

The aforementioned solid back is led by Maignan. Calabria, Kalulu, Tomori and Hernandez have all done well. Tonali and Bennacer will continue their good form in the pivots role. Further upfront little more option exist than Saelemaekers, Leao and Giroud. Rebic has often been injured and is certainly not on form. Messias has been poor and should not be permanently signed. Diaz has been below par and may need to shorten his stay at Milan ands return to Madrid. Kessie is the most likely replacement for attacking midfielder.

Genoa sit in 19th place and will struggle to survive the drop. Alexander Blessin’s appointment early in the year will likely not be good enough for the Rossoblu.

There is always more about this and all Milan matches on the forums.