AC Milan outcast Simic could start against Dudelange

Following Milan’s defence crisis, Gattuso has been forced to experiment in the last couple of games. Against Lazio, the Rossoneri kept a clean sheet for 94 minutes with a three-man defence, consisting of only one centre-back. However, tomorrow evening, we could be seeing two centre-backs on the pitch. 

In fact, as Milan will take on Luxembourg outsiders Dudelange, it is believed that Stefan Simic finally will get the chance from start, having failed to convince Gattuso ahead of the Lazio clash. In the gaffer’s defence, the 23-year-old hasn’t played any games since February.

Gattuso revealed that the Czech international could indeed get the chance tomorrow evening, but most likely only in a four-man backline: “We’ll make a few changes tomorrow. I’ll field two strikers for sure and also Simic might start in a four-man defence. Otherwise, we’ll play three at the back”.

Hopefully, the Rossoneri will be able to build on their defensive display against Lazio, where they really deserved a clean-sheet. Then again, Dudelange are not really of the same calibre as Lazio, so a clean-sheet is almost a must for Milan on their home turf. With that said, a win could set them up quite nicely for the last round, though it will also depend on how things develop in the encounter between Olympiacos and Real Betis.

Luckily for Gattuso and Milan, Higuain is once again back in the starting eleven as his two-game ban only affects Serie A games. Of course, he will be an important player to have on the pitch, although Cutrone is not too shabby either. For what it’s worth, Higuain has on numerous occasions stated that he wants to repay the fans for his mistake against Juventus: “I want to show I’ve learned from my mistake against Juventus and that the club wasn’t wrong to focus on me. I’ve never felt any lack of confidence from them”. 

According to La Gazzetta Dello Sport, Gattuso will opt for a 4-2-2 formation, though a 3-5-2 has also been suggested. In any case, Kessie has not been called up and will be benched ahead of Sunday’s clash with Parma. Instead, Bakayoko will pair up with Bertolacci in the middle, while Higuain and Cutrone will start up front.

Likely AC Milan XI (4-4-2): Reina; Calabria, Simic, Zapata, Laxalt; Halilovic, Bakayoko, Bertolacci, Calhanoglu; Higuain, Cutrone.

Unfortnutaley, we won’t be seeing Conti in action tomorrow, as he isn’t on the Rossoneri’s Europa League squad list. Gattuso revealed after the Lazio game that he was about to sub on the right-back, though things changed when Kessie scored the opener. Hopefully, Conti will get some minutes against Parma, and one could argue that this is better timing, rather than a tough game against Lazio.

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