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Lazio-Milan Preview: Beware of Eagle Talons

Anyone who is expecting Milan to go to the Stadio Olimpico this weekend and convincingly win by this point in the season seriously needs to consider getting their head checked. Of course, we all want that, and there’s always an outside chance that it could happen, but let’s be realistic: coming away with a point from this fixture would be like a victory.

It's not the bird, its the talons

For those of you expecting a “positive” preview for this, please look at what our team has accomplished thus far this season: This is positive. For one thing, Lazio are 5-0-2 so far on the season. Whereas Milan are 2-1-4 to date on the season. Lazio have a very in form Klose, with 5 goals in 7 games (plus the two he just scored on International duty on Wednesday against Sweden as well as the one against Ireland last Friday) Whereas Milan’s equivalent number 11 scored a hat trick and then… well, you know.  You also need to remember the goal Klose got ruled off after confessing he scored it with his hand vs. Napoli. So they’ve got firepower and class.

But Lazio are not a one-man team. For example, the incomparable Hernanes also has 4 goals himself, and they’ve also got a goal each from Ledesma, Ederson, and Candreva. Yes, that Candreva, who earned himself a callup to the Italian national team for his exploits at Lazio. So if Klose and Hernanes and company don’t strike fear into your Rossoneri heart, I can’t help you.

The goal scoring machine

Vladimir Petkovic, who ironically most recently briefly coached Sion, where Gattuso now plays, took the job offered to our own Mauro Tassotti at Lazio this summer. Under Petkovic’ guidance, Lazio currently sit in 3rd place on the table with 15 points. Whereas Milan sit in 11th with only 7 points. I’m going to guess that Claudio Lotito is thanking his lucky stars right about now. Even if he didn’t have 14 players leave his squad this summer.

When Lazio last played in the league away to Pescara , Petkovic fielded a team of  Marchetti; Dias, Lulic, Biava, Konko; Mauri, Hernanes, Gonzalez, Ledsma, Candreva; and Klose. And it seems that he has a relatively healthy squad at his disposal, so we are likely to see a similar side lined up against Milan when we travel to Rome on Saturday.

Just one game without injury, please?

Milan has good news and bad news. Pato is expected to make his long-awaited return to the squad, although with Allegri’s comments about his lack of match fitness, don’t be surprised if he simply subs on. The bad news is that Robinho is injured again. In fact, he also got in a minor car accident this week, so we definitely won’t see him. And Abbiati has a respiratory infection, so he won’t be featuring, either.

It’s hard enough to guess Allegri’s lineups when all is well, but it’s nearly impossible when he’s under fire. Who even knows what formation he’ll play? But my best guess would be Amelia; Abate, Mexes, Yepes, De Sciglio; De Jong, Ambrosini; Urby, Boateng, El Shaarawy; Pazzini. But who knows? Maybe he’ll try a completely different formation?

MOAR CELEBRASHUNZ PLZ

All is not lost, there’s a reason we play the game. Maybe we’ll inflict on them their third loss of the season? Or their first draw? One thing is for sure, our midfield will need to shut them down. Because if we allow them to reach the final third of the pitch, it is already too late. It’s certainly not impossible to get a victory, and our boys are very hungry for it, too. But it won’t be easy, and there won’t be any easy goals either. We will have to take our chances well, we can’t have any of these 20 shots but no goals games. It’s not the eagles that we need to fear, it’s their talons. So if we can avoid those, we could just possibly scrape our way through this one.


This post inspired by the music of Audioslave


Lazio vs. Milan
Saturday, October 20 • 20:45 CEST (2:45pm EDT)
This match only being shown live in the U.S. on RAI
Check comments before the match for streams