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Match Preview: Milan-Udinese, 03-03-2021

There’s no time to rest for Milan, the great victory in Rome is already behind us and Pioli’s squad has now to focus on the game against a tricky rival, Udinese.

If we look back to the recent past, the Friulani won only one Serie A game out of the last 13 played at the Meazza against Milan; it was September 2016 when they won 1-0 with a Perica goal. Milan won 8 times with 4 draws. However, Udinese is in a good moment and they gained 10 points in the last 5 Serie A games (3 victories, 1 draw and 1 defeat); only Inter has gained more points, 15.

Finally, after some bad performances, Milan seem to have found the style of play and determination they showed in the previous months. However, misfortune is following the Rossoneri during the whole season, and new injuries took away important players such as Calhanoglu and Ibrahimovic. The Turk suffered a thigh injury on last Sunday’s game and he was replaced by Krunic at the beginning of the second half; medical examinations showed oedema on his left thigh and his situation will be reconsidered in the next days. He will surely miss the Udinese and Verona game, aiming to play at Old Trafford on the 11th. Worse news come from Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who also left the pitch due to an injury; medical examinations showed a left adductor strain, and the Swede will stay out for at least two weeks, surely missing the game against Napoli and the first leg of Europa League in UK. Despite the Roma game, Pioli will make some changes: Calabria, Tomori and Saelemaekers will presumably start from the bench, and they will be replaced by Kalulu, Romagnoli and Castillejo. Diaz will take Calhanoglu’s place and Leao will start instead of Ibrahimovic.

Coach Gotti will have back Zaegelaar, Pereyra and Samir who will start from the beginning, but he has not yet chosen who will be the leading the bianconeri’s attack. Nestorovski, after Sunday’s goal against Fiorentina, seems to be the chosen one, but Fernando Llorente can play alongside him or take his place. The former rossonero Gerard Deulofeu is still recovering from the knee’s injury and he will start from the bench.

Milan lineup (4-2-3-1): G. Donnarumma; Kalulu, Kjaer, Romagnoli, T. Hernandez; Tonali, Kessiè; Castillejo, Brahim Diaz, Rebic; Leao. Coach: Pioli

Udinese lineup (3-5-1-1): Musso; Becao, Nuytinck, Samir; Stryger Larsen, De Paul, Arslan, Walace, Zeegelaar; Pereyra; Nestorovski. Coach: Gotti

Referee: Massa

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