Match Preview: Milan-Cagliari, 16-05-2021

The season that Milan is living this is year could be described as historic. It’s true, we haven’t won any trophies, but we can easily say that Maldini and the board have assembled a young team that can finally keep the Rossonera flag flying high after many years of disappointment and embarrassment. The recent historic victories in Turin against Juventus and Torino have brought us closer to our main goal: going back to the Champions League. The finish line is near and we can see the end, but two insidious games are left and we can’t stop now. Saturday’s Juventus-Inter could help us a lot in case the Nerazzurri win, but we can’t rely on others, we must only think about winning against Cagliari.

Milan won all the last four Serie A games against Cagliari with an aggregate score of 10-0; the last goal scored by Cagliari dates back to September 2018 when Joao Pedro scored. Cagliari won only one game in the last 34 Serie A games against Milan, 2-1 in May 2017. Milan won the last 15 home games in Serie A against Cagliari: it’s the longest winning streak at home for the Rossoneri with a single Serie A team. The Sardi are living a good period and they haven’t lost in the last six Serie A games (4 victories and 2 draws) and in case of a victory they would win two consecutive away games for the first time since September 2019. Milan have so far scored 72 goals in this Serie A season and they have done better after 36 games only in one occasion, in 2005/06 scoring 80 goals.

The only bad news coming from this week come from Ibrahimovic, who got injured in Turin and will miss the last two games. Rebic, who scored an hat trick on Wednesday, will replace him. The other change will be the return of Saelemaekers from the first minute after the suspension. The rest of the team will probably be composed by the players that smashed Torino on Wednesday.

The good condition that Cagliari showed in the last games was helpful to climb the table, and the Sardi are now only one point away from the certainty of remaining in Serie A. This means that they’ll try their best to ruin Milan’s plans. Coach Semplici won’t count on Walukiewicz, Calabresi, Pereiro and Rog out because of injuries. The defence will be composed by Godin, Carboni and one between Zappa and Ceppitelli, while on the midfield Duncan or Deiola on the centre and Lykogiannis or Asamoah on the left. Pavoletti, instead of Simeone, seems to be the one that will play alongside Joao Pedro; the Cagliari’s captain is the Brazilian that scored more goals in the five main European leagues in the last three years, 41 goals, followed by Neymar with 36.

Milan lineup (4-2-3-1): G. Donnarumma; Calabria, Kjaer, Tomori, Theo Hernandez; Bennacer, Kessie; Saelemaekers, Brahim Diaz, Calhanoglu; Rebic. Coach: Pioli

Cagliari lineup (3-5-2): Cragno; Zappa, Carboni, Godin; Lykogiannis, Nandez, Marin, Duncan, Nainggolan; João Pedro, Pavoletti. Coach: Semplici

Referee: Massa