The AC Milan hospital returns for another season, with injuries claiming some major scalps from our squad. After a phenomenal performance against Atalanta ahead of the international break, the loss of some important starting 11 players will test the strength and depth of our team this season.
Mike Maignan, who made most Milanisti forget about Donnarumma, will now most likely not feature until the new year, whilst Theo Hernandez will be absent for the next 10 days at least. These 2 absences compound the difficult start to the season the squad has had, with Giroud and Ibrahimovic only having played 254 minutes combined out of a possible 630 match minutes and new signing Junior Messias only featuring for 16 minutes. However, with the heartbreak of injuries, players have had the opportunity to rise, and none have done a better job than Tonali and Leao. These two players have been important pillars of Milan’s depth, youth, and talent. Ante Rebic has also shone early in the season, netting once and setting up 2 goals in the league, and contributing another goal in the Liverpool thriller. Theo Hernandez’s absence may give the opportunity to Ballo-Toure to shine in a similar manner or could see Pierre Kalulu given more game time and responsibility. In the goalkeeping department, Milan will now rely on Tatarusanu and Mirante in goal for the remainder of the year. Could one of these 2 step up and give Pioli a headache come the new year?
Looking forward to our next opponents, Verona haven’t begun with the greatest of gusto. 2 wins, 2 draws and 3 losses from their opening 7 games, the team has been quite leaky in defense. Only 4 teams have conceded more goals in the opening 7 rounds of the season than Verona have. To balance this out, Verona have been very prolific in front of goal, netting 15 times, the same number of goals Milan has scored. The match will be an opportunity for an old face to show Milan his talent. Nikola Kalinic has netted 3 times this season and will be looking to exact revenge on Milan who cast him out after only 1 season and 6 goals.
The upcoming match will test Pioli and his team, and ahead of a must win Champions League match against Porto, 3 points will be key. Can Milan maintain their undefeated start to the season, will we see the rise of a new player and will Milan be made to regret getting rid of Kalinic too soon? Big weekend of football coming up for the rossoneri!
As always, Forza Milan!