Reza

Sep 272020
 
Starting Lineup: 4-2-3-1
99
Donnarumma
2
Calabria
24
Kjær
46
Gabbia
19
Hernandez
8
Tonali
79
Kessié
56
Saelemaekers
10
Çalhanoğlu
21
Díaz
12
Rebić
Substitutes

Ibra scored both goals in the opening fixture of the 2020-2021 season. The soon to be 39 year old showed that his importance as a veteran of a very young squad will remain as crucial as ever. The youg squad is hoping to continue where it left off in the summer and the first indication was positive if not 100% reassuring. The moves being made to add depth and strength to the team will continue until the transfer window closes on October 5th.

In the meanwhile there is cause for immediate concern. Ibra is in isolation after testing positive for COVID-19. He will miss this week 2 match and will be out for another week at least. Rebic and young Colombo are the only alternatives available at center forward. The latter did a good job starting midweek in the Europa League qualifying tie vs Bodo/Glimt but the former is the likely starter up front. This leaves open Rebic’s more usual spot as a pseudo left winger. Leao has just returned from COVID-19 isolation himself and is not fully ready so newcomer Brahim Diaz will start there. Calhanoglu has been in great form as the central player behind the striker and will start with Saelemaekers as the disappointing Castillejo is going to be on the bench. The two in the 4-2-3-1 are of course normally Kessie and Bennacer but indications are the latter could get rest to give bigger minutes to the newcomer Tonali.

The defense is decimated with Duarte out after testing positive for COVID-19 earlier. Romagnoli and Musacchio are battling injury. This leaves only Gabbia and Kjaer (and possibly Kalulu) as center back options. Calabria has been doing very well recently and will be the right back and Theo the left back. Donnarumma will get the nod in goal.

Early indications are that Crotone could be one of the weaker teams in the Serie A and that the promoted team could struggle on most match days. It remains to be seen whether the Calabrese can surprise.

Follow the match as it happens, on the forum.

 Posted by on September 27, 2020
Sep 212020
 

Ibra brace from a good jump and header from a pinpoint Theo cross and an emphatic penalty awarded after VAR review. The referee had initially given a free kick just outside the box.
The starting line up as predicted remains stable but owing to many games, Europa League qualifying in midweek among them, coming up subs came fast. All of Saelemaekers, Tonali, Diaz, Duarte and Krunic got game time as the five subs per match game is still in effect in the Serie A.
The first of the subs was at half time as Saelemaekers replaced a disappointing Castillejo. The Belgian showed hunger and was a good fit for the team.
Calhanoglu did not have his best game. Calabria, Kessie did very well as did Donnarumma when called up on. Tonali came on as a sub and showed that he needs time to adapt to his new team. Diaz is a more skilled technical player and has the potential to win a starting spot.
Bologna playing a physical game and were reduced to 10 men in the second half.

 Posted by on September 21, 2020
Sep 212020
 
Starting Lineup: 4-2-3-1
99
Donnarumma
2
Calabria
24
Kjær
46
Gabbia
19
Hernandez
4
Bennacer
79
Kessié
7
Castillejo
10
Çalhanoğlu
12
Rebić
11
Ibrahimović
Substitutes

The pandemic disrupted 2019-2020 season ended on an extremely positive note for Milan on the pitch. The team, inspired by Ibra, Rebic, Calhanoglu, and virtually all of the squad finished the season unbeaten and set the stage for optimism not seen by fans, Oly Bet website, predictors, the players, management and others in a decade or more. The re-confirmed management team headed by Maldini and Massara set about investing and rebuilding the team.

The task was and remains not easy. Funds are obviously not infinite and even with pandemic induced relaxation of the financial fair play rules the business of football is facing losses in the billions.

There have been obvious weaknesses in the team and they cover virtually every area of the pitch but Ibra’s eventual decision to stay for one more year has allowed Maldini to concentrate on building elsewhere and look to players that can grow with the team. Quality players are needed and while Milan are being smart by signing young players, like Pierre Kalulu and Emil Roback, on the cheap immediate help is desperately needed for this upcoming season. One name that had been circulating the rumour mill was Sandro Tonali. The young highly rated Italian midfielder had been deemed expensive and one step away from Inter. Fortune favoured Milan when the situation at Inter changed when Antonio Conte apparently pivoted to an arguably short sighted ‘experience is the answer’ strategy and withdrew his interest. Tonali, a documented Milan fan, jumped at the chance and Maldini’s diplomacy secured a surprisingly favorable loan with option to buy deal for the player. Another young player was added when Madrid shed another young player and agreed to a dry loan for Brahim Diaz. The young player could yet stay at Milan for a longer period but for now the skilled midfielder will hope to provide depth on the attacking side of play.

The short transfer window is open until October 5th and other areas need attention. The mediocre right back spot is calling out for an upgrade and the center back position is devoid of quality depth. A host of players have been linked with those positions though some of the names are not exactly exciting. It remains to be seen if any of Celtic’s Kristoffer Ajer, Fiorentina’s Nikola Milenkovic, Tottenham’s Serge Aurier or PSV’s Denzel Dumfries do arrive for reasonable amounts. Bakayoko has long asked for a Milan return and he would to shore up the midfield but Chelsea are not exactly willing to let him go on the cheap. Various other names have come up as alternatives, for example St Etienne’s Wesley Fofana. The right wing is yet another area that has many unconvinced. Is Castillejo the man to carry the load? Can Saelemaekers lend a helping hand on a regular basis? Many are looking forward to a possible Enrico Chiesa transfer but Fiorentina look to make big money on him and Milan may not be able to match their demand. All in all Maldini has gone a long way to convincing most fans but the team has a long way to go to get where it needs to be: Regular qualification for the Champions League.

The season starts with the team having already made a big gamble in retaining Pioli. The job of continuing where the team left off starts versus Mihajlovic’s Bologna. The former Milan coach is battling cancer and has recently beat COVID-19. The motivation for the visitors to do well for their coach is likely very strong.

Milan start the new Serie A season days after beating Shamrock Rovers 2-0 in Europa League qualifying. A meeting with Norway’s Bodo/Glimt awaits midweek but for now a Romagnoli-less Milan will open the season hoping for a rare opening day win. The captain is still rehabilitating from an injury he picked up at the end of last season and is unlikely to be available for at least another two weeks. The team should still look familiar with Donnarumma in goal. Calabria, Kjaer, Gabbia and Theo at the back, Bennacer and Kessie behind the in form Calhanoglu and Rebic, Castillejo and Ibra working hard and establishing a vertically quick and fluid game.

Late in the week news arrived that the Italian authorities will allow 1000 spectators in the stadium. Milan have allotted the space to medical workers as a thankful gesture. The team will therefore play in front of a crowd for the first time since March.

Follow the match as it happens on the forum.

 Posted by on September 21, 2020
Sep 102020
 

Sandro Tonali who weeks ago seemed out of reached has joined Milan. For much of the past few months there have been conflicting reports as to how much Milan can spend this abbreviated window. The pandemic has hit finances hard but the amounts being spent remain large and Tonali had been rumoured to be close to joining Inter.

Player Summary
Name:
Sandro Tonali
Date of Birth:
May 8, 2000
Age:
20
Height:
1.81 m
Citizenship:
Italy
Position:
Midfielder
Foot:
Right
Agency:
None
Ownership:
AC Milan
Contract Expires:
Jun 30, 2021
Current Club:
AC Milan
Joined:
Sep 9, 2020

Late August saw Inter make a U-turn in an apparent shift to more experienced players. Milan rekindled their interest and managed to convince Massimo Cellino, the Brescia president, to accept a high loan of 10 million with an option of further 15m and 10m in bonuses. Cellino praised Maldini’s professionalism in the negotiations and the player himself jumped at the chance of joining a team he has followed and been a fan of since his childhood. The highly rated midfielder has garnered high praise and has been progressing well at Brescia.

Milan also pried away another young player. Brahim Diaz joined Milan on a simple loan that could possibly be extended in later negotiations. The attacking midfield can become a back up for Calhanoglu or perhaps play on the wing but it seems very doubtful that he will remain a Milan for more than one season. Madrid have sold players like Oscar Rodriguez and Achraf Hakimi this summer but have been unwilling to let Milan buy or have an option Diaz.

Player Summary
Name:
Brahim Díaz
Date of Birth:
Aug 3, 1999
Age:
21
Height:
1.71 m
Citizenship:
Spain
Position:
Midfielder
Foot:
Both
Agency:
None
Ownership:
AC Milan
Contract Expires:
Jun 30, 2021
Current Club:
AC Milan
Joined:
Sep 4, 2020

Milan’s youthful team gains more of it and has looked good in three preseason matches so far, albeit against lower division opponents. Continuing the post lock down momentum can take this team where it needs to go.

 Posted by on September 10, 2020
Aug 242020
 

Tommaso Pobega has been part of Milan’s youth set up since 2013 and has now signed an extension until 2025. The player spent the last two seasons on loan at Ternana in Serie C and Pordenone in Serie B playing a total of 64 games at those levels. It is expected that he will remain with Milan for the 2020-2021 season and bolster a position that is in need of depth. Milan’s midfield is in need of bodies and indeed improvement as Bennacer, Kessie, Krunic, Paqueta and Calhanoglu are the only players available for Pioli.

Player Summary
Name:
Tommaso Pobega
Date of Birth:
Jul 15, 1999
Age:
21
Height:
1.88 m
Citizenship:
Italy
Position:
Midfielder
Foot:
Both
Agency:
None
Ownership:
Dummy
Contract Expires:
Jun 30, 2025
Current Club:
AC Milan
Joined:
Aug 24, 2020
 Posted by on August 24, 2020
Aug 102020
 

The 2019-2020 season started with some hopeful promise but it derailed much sooner than almost anybody expected. With Gazidis as CEO and Maldini and Boban in somewhat ambiguous sporting director and development roles the offseason’s main action was the hiring of Giampaolo to replace the ‘successful’ Gattuso. Rino had steered the team into fifth place but the decision was made to change the coach. The transfer market activity was based on value signings with solid but not superstar players arriving and everybody hoping that they would fit into a new coach’s system.

Giampaolo came with the 4-3-1-2 formation almost set in stone. This immediately put into question Suso’s place. The right winger was overused by several coaches and often under-performed. The Spaniards poor form and at least perceived one dimensional ability was going to be difficult to fit in the advertised formation and within one week – the week 1 loss to Udinese – Giampaolo was hinting at a change of formation. It only took 6 more matches for the coach to be fired. It was a case of unworkable and registered as a mistake for Boban, Maldini and all of management. In the meanwhile Maldini had acquired a bargain as Theo Hernandez started to display great offensive ability down the left. Stefano Pioli arrived to underwhelming reaction and results. Fans had hoped for a bigger name in the summer and still weren’t convinced.

The calendar year marched towards December with not much to write home about and ended with a humiliation. On the last match of 2019 Atalanta destroyed Milan 5-0. The ensuing transfer window found new homes for Piatek and Suso to free the team of two disappointments. Ibra was convinced to rejoin the team, Kjaer arrived on an initial loan and several other small moves replenished the team. A few decent results greeted 2020 but still a derby loss stung. In the background a possible management change was brewing. Rumours kept swerving that Elliott and Gazidis want to take a big risk and hire Ralf Rangnick of Leipzig in an all encompassing role to revolutionize the team from scouting to the wage bill. This almost certainly meant a big youth reset and cut backs. This was of course treated with skepticism and not only among fans, betting tips 4 you, most fans and observers felt the same too. Boban publicly complained and left soon after. Maldini almost did too.

Then football stopped because of the COVID-19 pandemic as Italy and rest of the world were hit hard.

It took until June for calcio to return. Following up on some medical protocols and looking at the Bundesliga example closed stadium matches returned in an urgent need to conclude the 2019-2020 season. In the first match after the restart Milan exited the Coppa Italia as a 0-0 at Juventus tie was not enough to reach the coppa final.

Twelve Serie A matches remained to try to salvage the season and get a European spot. Lecce were beaten 4-1 away and the wins and goals kept coming. Initially Ibra was rusty and uninvolved but he along with Rebic, Calhanoglu and Leao too kickstarted an offensive machine that didn’t lose the rest of the way. Many of the players shined and some unexpectedly so. Kessie had become a different player, Bennacer mostly effective, Castillejo hard running and Saelemaekers – another January loanee – hard working. On the defensive side Kjaer showcased solidity, experience and leadership in claiming a spot alongside Romagnoli.

Milan turned the season around and Pioli kept his cool and despite continuing Rangnick rumours – which would or would not include a coaching change – insisted on doing his best. The team moved smoothly, was more direct and resisted the collapses of the recent seasons. A come back from 0-2 to beat Juventus 4-2 highlighted a changed team. The transformation was the catalyst for a change of plans. A sudden U-turn off the pitch surprised many when Rangnick announced that the near done deal was off and the team immediately rewarded Pioli with a two year extension.

Keeping the status quo brings great risk of its own because the team needs more than just a rethink at the very top. Milan needs better and more proactive scouting and youth development to navigate the financial fair play world. For this pandemic era UEFA has modified its rules to allow more flexibility for current accounts but in the near future Milan needs more income from top to bottom. Rangnick would have created the conditions for a big change that Milan needs for the long term but Pioli’s 2020 work had to be and was rewarded.

Boban has gone, apparently without regrets, but Maldini has a lot to do. Ibra had clear reservations about any management change but will now almost certainly stay and his influence is not to be doubted. He himself agrees(!) players agree and fans do too.

 Posted by on August 10, 2020
Aug 022020
 

Giacomo ‘Jack’ Bonaventura joined Milan on September 1, 2014 in an infamous last minute transfer. Jonathan Biabiany was set to join Milan and was even photographed with the Milan jersey, but his medical uncovered a heart issue and he returned to Parma. In a scramble to find an attacking player Galliani talked to Atalanta’s Antonio Percassi and Giovanni Sartori and hijacked a proposed move (rumoured to have been to Inter). A €7 million fee was paid and the left sided players went on to play 184 games scoring 35 goals and assisting 30 times for Milan.
His contract is now expired and the soon to be 31 year old could return to Atalanta or find another home.

Player Summary
Name:
Giacomo Bonaventura
Date of Birth:
Aug 22, 1989
Age:
31
Height:
1.8 m
Citizenship:
Italy
Position:
Midfielder
Foot:
Right
Agency:
None
Ownership:
None
Contract Expires:
N/A
Current Club:
AC Milan
Joined:
Sep 1, 2014
 Posted by on August 2, 2020
Aug 012020
 

Milan’s record since the season resumed after the COVID-19 lockdown in Italy and around the world has been surprising to say the least. The 13 games has included beating Juventus and tying SPAL! The record since the mid June resumption stands at 9 wins and 4 ties with 35 scored and 12 allowed. Ibra, Rebic, Calhanoglu have been in excellent form up front and supported by impressive performances by Kessie, Bennacer, Donnarumma and most of the squad. The fluidity, quickness, pressing and not buckling under pressure has made most fans and witnesses take notice. There is more to write about this great run but for now …

Who or what explains the form since the Coronavirus lock down was lifted In June 2020?

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 Posted by on August 1, 2020
Aug 012020
 
Starting Lineup: 4-2-3-1
99
Donnarumma
2
Calabria
24
Kjær
46
Gabbia
19
Hernandez
79
Kessié
4
Bennacer
7
Castillejo
10
Çalhanoğlu
17
Leão
21
Ibrahimović
Substitutes

Milan gained another impressive three points at Sampdoria. The team continues to look confident and quick, in attack especially. The absence of Romagnoli at the back did leave some space for the hosts but Kjaer and Gabbia did well along with the whole team to close down many of Sampdoria’s attempts to move into Milan’s final third. Ibra scored twice again and along side Rebic and Calhanoglu the team has the shape of an offensive power house. Saelemaekers continues to work hard. Bennacer and Kessie have become an excellent back bone to the team and provide short passes, clean up threats and generate movement.

Rebic misses this season finale due to a yellow he got very late in the first half at Sampdoria, the Croatian seemed a bit to agitated and was also substituted at half time. This win along side Napoli’s loss to Inter and Roma’s win at Torino means that Milan have already finished sixth – and in the process gained a Europa League qualifying spot – so this week 38 match has no bearing on the standings. Some have wondered if Pioli will use a few of the youth or B team but that is not the case and at least the starting 11 will be the full strength team. Leao is likely to replace Rebic but Castillejo and Saelemaekers both starting can not be excluded meaning a start for Paqueta on the left side. Castillejo has returned from injury and was a sub on week 37. It is possible that Lorenzo Colombo and Daniel Maldini do get a few minutes but also Bonaventura and Biglia in what is almost certainly their farewell matches for Milan.

Cagliari have plunged down the standings in the 2020 calendar year but did upset Juventus in week 37. Radja Nainggolan, Luca Pellegrini and Joao Pedro are all out injured.

After the match the focus will immediately shift to the soon to start 2020-2021 season with training camp opening within weeks and the transfer window requiring a lot of attention. It is also very likely that Ibra renews for another season or even two.

Discover the best football betting site to bet on milan for season 2020-2021 here : www.mybettingsite.uk

Follow the match as it happens, on the forum.

 Posted by on August 1, 2020
Jul 292020
 
Starting Lineup: 4-2-3-1
99
Donnarumma
2
Calabria
24
Kjær
46
Gabbia
19
Hernandez
79
Kessié
4
Bennacer
56
Saelemaekers
10
Çalhanoğlu
18
Rebić
21
Ibrahimović
Substitutes

Milan faced Atalanta without a full team. Conti and Romagnoli out injured and Theo and Bennacer on yellow accumulation suspensions. The replacements didn’t all have good games. Gabbia and in particular Biglia didn’t shine and the latter’s performance only served to confirm that he will leave on a Bosman after the season. Laxalt and Calabria did have good moments but all in all a 1-1 tie with an offensive powerhouse riding high in the standings was a good result. Calhanoglu continued his good form to open the scoring and the soon to sign an extension Donnarumma saved a Ruslan Malinovsky penalty. It is worth noting that VAR remains a farce in particular when it comes to hand balls.

The final two matches will settle the 5th, 6th and 7th spots for the 2019-2020 season. The difference between these rankings is how early the teams enter the Europa League. Seventh means earlier and more (qualifying ) games. Fifth means direct entry into the Europa League group stage. With Roma four points ahead finishing fifth is now unlikely. The battle for 6th and 7th will be between Milan and Napoli. Milan host Cagliari on the last match day. Napoli – currently one point behind Milan – lost their week 37 match to Inter and will host Lazio on the last day.

With Theo and Bennacer back the team is in better shape to face Sampdoria. Donnarumma, Calabria, Kjaer, Gabbia and Kessie will form the defensive unit in the 4-2-3-1. The front line is expected to remain unchanged as Saelemaekers, Calhanoglu, Rebic and Ibrahimovic will try to finish the season as strongly as it has gone since the restart.

The hosts – featuring Andrea Bertolacci – have lost their last two games, before it they had won three in a row.

Follow the match as it happens, on the forum.

 Posted by on July 29, 2020