After winning the game against Roma in a dramatic fashion, Milan will now look to build on the momentum as they take on Cagliari on Sunday evening.
The Rossoneri have enjoyed a good start to the season, bar the bitter 3-2 loss away at Napoli, as it seems that head coach Gennaro Gattuso has really managed to get his ideas across. This was not only shown during a few bits of the Napoli game, but especially vs. Roma, against which Milan were completely dominant at least in the first half.
Much like last season, although in a completely different (better) way, there is great hope for the season to come. This is thanks to the fact that Elliott have stepped in as the new owners, while the likes of Leonardo and Maldini have returned. Therefore, this time, it’s not all about the player’s signed over the summer, but also the general feel of the club.
Having faced Napoli and Roma in their first two games of the season, Gattuso’s men will now face a weaker side on paper: Cagliari. This should further strengthen the team’s confidence when it comes to possession play, as it is expected that they will be seeing a lot of the ball. In addition to this, it will be an opportunity for Gattuso to try some new ideas, which perhaps he wasn’t fully comfortable with doing against the big sides.
However, the biggest talking point is Gonzalo Higuain, and especially ahead of this game. In fact, the Argentinian has scored six goals in seven matches against Cagliari in Serie A, and has never ended on the losing side (W5 D2). As the debut goal hasn’t arrived just yet, this should be a great opportunity for El Pipita to really show what he can do.
With that said, though, the addition of Higuain to the team has really increased its overall quality. As the 30-year-old attracts the interest of the defenders, it leaves the wingers (Suso and Calhanoglu) with a lot more space than usual. As if they weren’t dangerous enough already, this has certainly been a bonus.
At the time of writing, it is believed that Gattuso will stick with the same formation which he fielded against Roma, although Diego Laxalt could receive the nod ahead of Ricardo Rodriguez. Even though the latter has impressed in the first two games, switching things up with a pacey and attacking-minded Laxalt would be an understandable choice.
In fact, with Rodriguez being more defensively intelligent, it would make sense to start Laxalt against the smaller opponents, while bringing him on in the latter stages (of the big games) as shown against Roma. In the end, it will come down to Gattuso’s preferred choice, taking the opponent’s style of play into consideration. After all, both options have their respective pros and cons, with it being quite an even run-off at least in my eyes.
Coming off a great performance against Roma, it will also be interesting to see how well Lucas Biglia holds up, dictating the play from the centre of the pitch. For Milan, his presence has been incredibly important and it will continue to be so on Sunday evening, with the Rossoneri fans hoping that he puts in a good shift.
In conclusion, tomorrow’s encounter should be an interesting one for both sides, although Milan should feel obligated to claim all three points.
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