Everyone can breathe a little easier now, the evil international break is over. Most of us will have been disheartened by Italy failing to qualify directly for the World Cup next year, but now we can turn our attentions to the Rossoneri!!!!
Milan will have the smallest injury list it has had all season coming into this round, with Maignan, Plizzari, Romagnoli and Calabria being the only names on the doctor’s bench. Calabria should only be 3 matches whilst little is known about how long Romganoli will be out for. But the returns of Rebic, Messias, Hernandez, Castillejo and Ibrahimovic will give Pioli a strong hand to play against Fiorentina. It is unlikely that Rebic will start from the pitch, after slightly tweaking his ankle at training, but has been given the green light to feature against the Viola. This weekend is huge for us as Napoli play Inter and Juventus play Lazio, gifting Milan a crucial opportunity to gain vital points on our rivals. A win and we are guaranteed to either go top on our own, or 10 points clear of Inter. 14 points could become 17 points if Juventus fail to get a result against Lazio away as well. After surviving through an injury plagued period, Milan finally has a chance to put our foot down and send a message to our rivals. Hopefully it will be easier against a depleted La Viola to put in a performance like last season’s Turin week, and make Napoli, Inter, Juventus and Lazio sweat.
Fiorentina enter match day 13 severely depleted at the back. First choice centre backs Milenkovic and Martinez Quarta are suspended whilst back up Nastasic is out injured. It leaves Fiorentina with 1 fit centre back in the entire squad, 23 year old Igor, meaning Vincenzo Italiano will have some thinking to do about how he contains a Milan side that has scored the second most goals in the league – 26. Bartlomiej Dragowski also is returning from a hamstring injury that has seen him sit out the last 5 match days, and is in big doubt for the clash with Milan. Terracciano may well need to step up yet again for Fiorentina, with the 31 year old Italian keeping in the last 5 matches for Fiorentina in the absence of Dragowski.
With all the injury and suspension problems that Fiorentina face, will Vincenzo Italiano be able to salvage a result, or will we be ruthless and punish the unfortunate La Viola? Will Ibrahimovic find the score sheet again as he did last time, or will Fiorentina find a way to silence the Swede? Last time we faced Fiorentina it was a goal-fest with Milan coming out on top 3-2. Will history repeat itself or will Milan manage a comfortable result? Anything can happen this year, as we have seen in other matches.
As always, Forza Milan!!!