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.