Match Preview: Milan-Sassuolo, 21-04-2021

The last few days in the world of football have been simply chaotic: the news of 12 clubs, including Milan, leaving UEFA to create a new European competition called Super League, have triggered worldwide comments and reactions. It all started on Sunday, right after Milan’s victory over Genoa, when the first rumours came out. However, it didn’t seem to last long and on Tuesday’s night this system is on the verge of collapse after the withdrawal of the English clubs. While all this was going on, the Rossoneri were preparing a delicate home game against Sassuolo, continuing on their course for the Champions League.

Milan has been undefeated in the last nine Serie A matches against Sassuolo (7 victories and 2 draws), and lost four of the previous six games (2 victories for Milan). The two sides are the two teams with more goals on penalty in this Serie A, Milan scored 12 and Sassuolo 10; the last one scored for the Rossoneri dates back to 3rd March, while the Neroverdi scored twice during last match against Fiorentina. Milan are coming from two consecutive victories, the last time they had a better winning streak was in January.

In the last few days Milan had to face the news and resulting problems coming from the Super League, adding more pressure in such a delicate part of the season. Adding to this, four players are apparently not in the right conditions to start against Sassuolo: Ibrahimovic has muscular problems, Bennacer got a knock to the ankle, Hernandez has a slight muscle strain and Calhanoglu has a problem with his ankle. The only good news are the comeback of Calabria and Romagnoli; while the first will start on the left, Pioli is thinking to give a break to one of either Kjaer or Tomori letting play from the beginning our captain. Dalot will possibly substitute Hernandez, Meite to replace Bennacer. If Ibrahimovic won’t start, Rebic will play as striker with Krunic on the left and one between Saelemaekers and Castillejo on the right; Diaz will play if Calhanoglu won’t make it.

The Super League matter interested directly Sassuolo, who immediately expressed their dissenting opinion. During the press conference before the game, Coach De Zerbi said “I don’t want to play against Milan, the Super League is a putsch!” and “So we’re a bunch of A******s because we dream to reach an European competition”. Their anger and frustration are easily understandable and for sure it will encourage them to give their best and make it harder for Milan. The only unavailable player for the Emiliani is Caputo, one between Defrel and Raspadori will replace him. The former Rossonero Locatelli will guide the midfield, alongside Lopez or Obiang. The other midfielders will be Boga, Djuricic and Berardi, who scored nine goals against Milan.

Milan lineup (4-2-3-1): G. Donnarumma; Calabria, Tomori, Kjaer, Dalot; Meité, Kessiè; Saelemaekers, Diaz, Krunic; Rebic. Coach: Pioli

Sassuolo lineup (4-2-3-1): Consigli, Toljan, Chiriches, Ferrari, Rogerio; Maxime Lopez, Locatelli; Berardi, Djuricic, Boga; Defrel. Coach: De Zerbi

Referee: Sacchi