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Coppa Italia – Milan-Reggina: Seeing Amaranto

These boys from Reggio Calabria have got to be shaking in their boots. Playing in Serie B since 2009, they’ve got something to prove. But they picked the wrong club to try to prove it with. Because while our roster says "Serie B", we still play in Serie A (at least until the end of this season.) And just because they’ve got a couple of our players on loan doesn’t mean they can hurt us. Well, with our home record, maybe they can. But still… we’re not going down without a fight. We’re seeing Amaranto!

That is a lot of Amaranto.

All of the tough talk aside, I’m sure we are expected to end Reggina’s Coppa Italia run tomorrow at the San Siro. But I wouldn’t be so sure. I’m sure Chievo thought the same thing just two weeks ago, and one single goal sent them crashing out of the Coppa prematurely. Or how about Reggina’s first Coppa match against Modena. After our very own Comi scored in the 12th minute, Modena seemed finished. Until an equalizer in the 71st led to added extra time. So that there could be no doubt, Reggina scored four more goals in that extra thirty minutes, an extra painful exit for Modena to be defeated 1-5 at home. So Reggina know how to win.

But Reggina may not realize what they are up against. Winning the Coppa Italia is Milan’s destiny this year. And nobody messes with destiny. Well, except maybe fate. And having sent our fantastic Primavera players Rodrigo Ely and Gianmario Comi on loan this year to Reggina, it could very well be fate that they upset a crippled Milan side. Not if I have anything to say about it, though. Our players are hungry. They want a trophy. And a fabulous patch on their kits next year. And a… Europa League spot. I mean, we’re used to the Champions League, but this is Budget Milan™, so a Europa League spot actually sounds pretty good this year.

Ely will need to learn his place

So just who is this Amaranto team? Reggina’s nickname is the color of their kits: dark red, or Amaranto. They hail from Reggio Calabria, in the Southern tip of Italy. Originally founded in 1914 and having played under many different names, they have spent most of their time since 1999 divided between Serie A and Serie B, most recently relegated in 2009 to Serie B, where they have since remained. They also boast former players and Milan legends Andrea Pirlo and Marco Borriello. Well, maybe not both legends. Anyway, for their Coppa match vs. Chievo two weeks ago, coach Dionigi fielded a team of Facchin; Lucioni, Freddi, Ely, D’Alessandro; Rizzato, Bombagi, Rizzo, Castiglia; Viola, and Fishnaller. I would expect him to bring his strongest available squad to the San Siro tomorrow.

If Comi plays, he can't be allowed to score on us

Milan, on the other hand, have had very mixed results. But the timing of this match comes with our best results concentrated primarily over this past few weeks. We also unfortunately have a number of injuries, including the devastating season-ending injury to De Jong this past Sunday. I hope the boys take this one seriously and don’t worry about Pescara on Sunday. If we are going to take on the winner of tonight’s Juve-Cagliari match in the quarterfinals, we have to get past these Southern boys.

I would assume that Berlusconi Allegri will stick with his 4-3-3, even if the players we have available are more suited to another formation. And I make no pretenses as to knowing who he will lineup, only who is likely to not be available. Not available for this match are: Montolivo, Constant, Pato, De Jong, Muntari, Traore, and Carmona. Possibly available: Antonini, Bonera, Mesbah, Strasser, and Acerbi. Also, traditionally, the second keeper plays for Coppa Italia matches, so don’t be surprised if you see Amelia in goal instead of Abbiati.

Will Budget Milan's™ favorite captain make his return?

Whereas traditionally, this game might be a time to give some bench players a little bit of playing time, if you believe Allegri is committed to winning this competition, you would have to expect him to lineup a first team lineup. It will be important to keep our confidence up, and since it is a knockout tournament, the win essential to moving on. So these Reggina boys may be tough, but we need to be tougher. And we need to show Comi & Ely the benefits of achieving first team status with a victory. Watch out, Reggina, we’re seeing Amaranto. And we won’t be happy until we’ve seen Amaranto out of the tournament, either.


This post inspired by the music of The Strokes


Coppa Italia Round of 16
Milan vs. Reggina
Thursday, December 13 • 21:00 CET (3pm EST)
This match will be shown LIVE on BeIN Sport in the U.S.
(Check the comments here for links to streams before the match)