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Bologna vs. Milan Preview: Redemption

I don’t use the term “Epic Fail” lightly (okay, maybe I do, but in this case I’m not,) but I think most would say that Milan’s opening weekend match vs. Sampdoria was just that. However, we’re not alone Bologna’s opener vs. Chievo was also quite the Epic Fail, losing 2-0 away to Verona. So as we head to Bologna tomorrow night, both teams have something to prove. And both teams are looking for redemption.

Milan’s team bus arrives at Bologna (photoshop also an Epic Fail)


With Galliani Day™ in the all-exciting final hours, both teams are likely to be distracted by the transfer market. Bologna are trying to finalize a deal for Gaston Ramirez to leave and bringing in the likes of Gilardino before the deadline. Milan, in true Galliani form, have signed M’baye Niang, Bojan Krkic, and Nigel De Jong (who is completing his medicals today,) this week. However, every Milan fan knows that until 7pm CEST, one can never rule out a final Galliani master swoop.

But with all of the distractions of the mercato, there is still a football match to be played on Saturday. Bologna manager Stefano Pioli must find a starting 11 presumably without any of the newest signings. He will also have to play without the suspended Diego Perez, who, in his own epic fail, got a red card last week in the dying minutes of the game. Will he be replaced by Michele Pazienza, this week’s earlier signing from Juventus? At least one would think Pazienza would have more patience. (that joke also an epic fail.)

Will Stefano Pioli find redemption vs. Milan?

So with perhaps less knowledge of the Bologna squad than the average reader, I will attempt to guess a starting lineup for tomorrow night: Agliardi; Antonsson, Cherubin, Carvalho; Guarente, Taider, Pazienza, Motta, Garics; Acquafresca, and Diamanti. Yes, that is former Juventus great Marco Motta (most Juventini would consider him an Epic Fail too,) and Alessandro Diamanti, who made headlines by getting a call up to the national team this summer and had a great Euro tournament.

Allegri on the other hand probably wishes he had his brand new signings. Nigel De Jong, for example just came from Manchester City, and with the EPL starting before Serie A, is likely match fit. Only as of this point, he has not completed his medicals, and may not have a chance to train more than once (if at all) with the team. Ambrosini is set to return from injury, but will he get the start? While Allegri will be desperate for strikers, Bojan only just arrived and Niang is not eligible to play yet, as being underage, he’s got to have special clearance from FIFA before he can play, and that has not yet been received. And Pazzini is not yet match fit, or at least he wasn’t as of last week.

Will Pazzini be fit enough to be Allegri's 'point of reference' tomorrow?

So with Allegri being so very particular about playing new players and about injuries and recoveries and match fitness, this may be about as helpful as my Bologna lineup, but here goes: Abbiati; De Sciglio, Zapata, Yepes, Antonini; Montolivo, Ambrosini, Nocerino; Boateng, Emanuelson; El Shaarawy. Don’t worry, my predictions are always an Epic Fail, if you don’t like the 4-3-2-1, it’s okay, as Allegri is very much unlikely to use it.

We were told that with these new signings, Milan were now considered Scudetto contenders, no alibis. So even with Robinho and Pato injured, Pazzini not match fit, Niang unavailable, and who knows what condition Bojan is in, we are supposed to score goals with Bonera and Antonini? Oh, well. At least the mercato is turning out to be better than we thought, and these new signings definitely improve the summer that was truly an Epic Fail for the club. (see, I told you I didn’t throw it around lightly!) Happy Galliani Day™ and here’s to finding a victory tomorrow in Bologna and a little redemption.


This post inspired by the music of Madness


Bologna vs. Milan
Saturday, September 1, 2012 • 20:45 CEST (2:45pm EDT)
This match will be broadcast on RAI and BeIN Sport USA in the U.S.
(a list of streams will be posted prior to game time)

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