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Pescara-Milan Preview: Swimming with the Fishes


It’s official, Pescara are mathematically relegated. But there are still three matches for them to play, and hosting Milan on Wednesday is one of them. The Dolphins may be dead in the water, but I’m sure they wouldn’t mind creating waves for Milan as we strive for a Champions League spot. There is also the Milan audition of one Mattia Perin, the young goalkeeper who will be returning to Genoa (who own him) and therefore available in the mercato. Having conceded 52 goals this season, nothing would please him more than a clean sheet at this point (he has actually kept 4 clean sheets), which would not only keep Milan’s scorers off the board, but put our third place dreams at risk again. So it begs the question… which team will actually be swimming with the fishes after this match?

One more Nocegol, please

Pescara’s hopes and dreams of Serie A glory this season were possibly dashed by their belief in a false savior – they literally have a keeper on their roster called Salvatore Falso. It was either this or the poor management of the club. (or maybe both?) After Zeman capitalized on the talents of Verratti, Immobile, and Insigne to bring Pescara into Serie A for the first time in 19 years, Pescara let all of them go. With Cristian Bucchi being their third coach of the season, and only a fraction of the talent they had last season to win Serie B, relegation was not just a possibility, but a probability.

However, they were very kind to Milan. For Milan’s 113th birthday, they gave us not just one, but two own goals to help us to our 4-1 win over them in December. I doubt they can afford to be so generous to us again, but I wouldn’t complain, either. On Sunday, they lost 4-1 to Genoa, with Perin facing off against the team who owns him and dutifully taking four goals. Meanwhile, former Genoa star Giuseppe Sculli reminded them of what they were missing by scoring Pescara’s only goal against them. For Sunday’s match, Bucchi lined up Perin; Zanon, Capuano, Balzano, Cosic; Cascione, Sculli, Rizzo, Togni, Di Francesco; and Sforzini. He’s dealing with a number of long-term injuries, too, so this lot is probably the best he’s got.

Perin let his buddy El Shaarawy score on him before, will he again?

Milan cannot really afford a misstep on Wednesday, but are feeling the weight of the end of season injury crunch. Having missed Montolivo severely on Sunday, Ambrosini was back in training on Monday. His availability could be crucial, but I wonder if Allegri will risk him ahead of Sunday’s match home to Roma. Or could he risk fielding the young Cristante? I am not sure if his back is far enough up against the wall to risk a 20 year-old at that position with so much at stake.

Other injuries include De Sciglio and Bonera, one being relevant and the other probably more likely to heal and be available, with our luck. Despite being quite exposed vs. Torino without Montolivo in front of them, I would expect an Abate-Mexes-Zapata-Constant back line again on Wednesday. Allegri will throw whatever players with good physiques into the midfield. Up front, he has a conundrum, as his star mezz’ala striker Boateng is suspended for this match. So he will have to either start Pazzini, Niang, Bojan, or Robinho alongside Balotelli and hopefully El Shaarawy. My bet is on the least likely to score this season playing 90 minutes: Robinho. Only because that’s how Allegri rolls. While Pazzini and Balotelli both seem to want to play together, and fans are drooling at the prospect of this combination, considering he only played Pippo-Ibra out of necessity and that he’s actually got other options, I am not holding my breath for the Pazzo-Balo combo.

Only Allegri can keep them apart

The most important thing about this match will be staying focused and not making mistakes. Or as Allegri likes to put it, not making too many mistakes. Also, not playin like we have concrete shoes would be helpful. It will be so important to win this match and take the three points, as it has been voted the most likely match for Milan to win in our last three matches by both statistics and fans alike. According to Galliani Math™, we need to win two of our last three matches now to ensure our third place berth, so it would be clever of us to take three points away from Pescara. Otherwise our Champions League hopes might just go swimming with the fishes.


This post inspired by the music of Agent Orange

Pescara vs. Milan
Wednesday, May 8 • 18:00 CEST (12noon EDT)
This match is being shown LIVE on BeInSport
(check comments ahead of the match for stream links)


The Milan-Torino Match Review can be found here