AC Milan managed to claim all three points (finally) away at Cagliari this weekend, scoring their first goal in three games. Certainly, the performance was an encouraging sign of what’s to come, should Stefano Pioli’s men be able to build on the display.
As you would expect, Ibrahimovic was crucial for the Rossoneri, inspiring his new teammates. In addition to the Swede, Pioli also dared to switch things up with a new formation (the 4-4-2) and a few changes. For example, after the horrible outing against Sampdoria, he benched Suso in favour of Castillejo.
It certainly paid off as his side looked a lot better on Sunday afternoon, quite comfortably securing the win on Sardinia. Although there is still a long way to go, the win will at least add some confidence in the team and enthusiasm among the Rossoneri faithful.
Given that it went so well last time out, Pioli is expected to keep the new formation for tomorrow’s clash. However, as reported by MilanNews.it, he will make a few changes to the lineup, with it being a cup match and all. In goal, Antonio Donnarumma will replace his brother, who is injured.
Kjaer is set to make his debut in the middle of the defence as Musacchio has been left out of the squad. He will partner up with captain Romagnoli, who continues to be a point of reference for the team. Conti will also play from the first minute, as Calabria has a minor injury.
As Calhanoglu is also struggling with a minor issue, Bonaventura will start on the left flank. Other than that, though, the midfield will remain the same with Castillejo once again getting the nod ahead of Suso. The latter has been heavily linked with a departure this month, which is now gathering even more steam.
Although he was crucial for Milan last time out, Ibrahimovic will be on the bench. After all, he’s 38-years-old, and if there is an opportunity to rest him Pioli should take it. No offence to SPAL, but he can probably afford to start Piatek and Leao as the attacking duo instead.
Likely AC Milan XI (4-4-2): A.Donnarumma; Conti, Kjaer, Romagnoli, Hernandez; Castillejo, Kessie, Bennacer, Bonaventura; Piatek, Leao.
Since it’s a Coppa Italia game, there aren’t as many facts and stats available. Then again, you don’t need stats to tell you that Milan are the favourites to win the game. However, in recent times, they have struggled to score in regulation time (Coppa Italia). Take a look at the facts and stats below.
- AC Milan have failed to score in 7 of their last 8 matches (Coppa Italia).
- AC Milan have won their last 5 matches against SPAL 2013 in all competitions.
- There have been under 2.5 goals scored in 7 of AC Milan’s last 8 games (Coppa Italia).
- There have been over 2.5 goals scored in SPAL 2013′s last 3 games (Coppa Italia)
As has been mentioned, Pioli’s men are the favourites, and rightly so. Hopefully, they can build on the performance against Cagliari and grab another win to further boost their confidence. After the rocky start to the season, they could really use it, as a turning point is needed as soon as possible.
AC Milan 2-0 SPAL