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Champions League Preview - AC Milan vs. Malaga: Prepare to Die

In the cult classic “The Princess Bride,” there is a character who devotes his life to avenge his father’s death. He tells everyone he meets what he will say when he finds the six-fingered man: “Hello. My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die.” Much like the valiant and honorable Inigo Montoya (who is ironically Spanish,) Milan want to avenge the losses of their players this summer, the loss of faith in management and our coach, and especially their less-than-worthy-of-Milan performances. Particularly that 1-0 loss in Málaga less than two weeks ago. Perhaps Málaga will be welcomed by the greeting, “Hello. Our name is AC Milan. You took our dignity, prepare to die.”

For honor... or at least some dignity

Much has happened in the two weeks since we met. Milan had a win, a draw, and a win and have climbed our league table. Whereas Málaga had a draw, a win, and a loss in La Liga, and slid one spot to 4th, having been passed by Real Madrid. Milan’s convincing win over Chievo Saturday is contrasted by the 2-1 Málaga loss to 10th place Rayo Vallecano on the same day. But will this affect the mentality of the two teams? It’s hard to say. Just as Milan could be buoyed by their victory, it could also make them complacent. And just as Málaga could be hampered by their defeat, it could also anger them and inspire more courage. What AC Milan need is the resolve and determination of Inigo Montoya.

Málaga’s loss on Saturday saw Pelligrini lineup basically the usual suspects: Willy; Weligton, Demichelis, Eliseu, Gamez; Camacho, Iturra, Portillo; Isco, Saviola, and Joaquin. In fact, that is the exact same starting 11 that we lost to. What would that be like? To have a consistent lineup like that? And if he lines them up again, then Milan can truly avenge our prior loss.

Wilfredo "Willy" Caballero has not conceded a CL goal... I say we change that

Meanwhile, back in Milan, I am wondering if Allegri has possibly lost his magic hat that he draws lineups and formations from and will field the same formation two matches in a row. Certainly after Saturday’s post match comments, it sounded like he was convinced of the 4-2-3-1, but who knows? Many have indicated they would like to see an identical lineup to Saturday’s: Abbiati; Abate, Zpata, Mexes, Constant; Montolivo, Ambrosini; Urby, Bojan, El Shaarawy; Pazzini. But first of all, we all know he can’t leave well enough alone. And secondly, he’ll have the love of his life, Bonera, available, as well as the possible return of Robinho. Then there’s Pato, whom I believe he may have rested for this match. And the other 13 players at his disposal. We should all pray now to the gods of football that just this once he doesn’t mess with a good thing.

Ambrosini can book El Shaarawy's Caribbean vacation if he scores tomorrow

For the love of Inigo Montoya, I am hoping that we avenge our loss to the Los Boquerones (the Anchovies.) Even if it is not realistic. But Zenit are right on our heels with 3 points to our 4 in Group C, so a win in this match would really help our chances of getting out of the group. Plus, it’s always fun to be the team that breaks a perfect start like Málaga has had in the Group Stage thus far. Which would be a huge boost to morale and confidence of our team, even if it would also require more stamina from our boys down the line. But we are Milan, and Champions League is in our DNA. So Málaga, hello. Our name is AC Milan. You took our dignity. Prepare to die.


This post was inspired by Milan Obsession’s favorite closet Milanista, Gadsby.


Champions League Group Stage
AC Milan vs. Málaga
Tuesday, November 6, 2012 • 20:45 CET (2:45 ET)
This match will not be broadcast live in the U.S.
Check comments for streams prior to kickoff