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Milan-Cagliari Preview: Reunited


The big story going into this match, of course is the addition of the €11m man, Alessandro Matri. Not only because Milan dropped that kind of cash on a backup to Pazzini for two months, but because it reunites Coach Allegri with one of his favorite players when they were both at… you guessed it, Cagliari. Even better that Matri returns to his roots, as a former Milan youth product. So facing off against the club that launched both their bromance and both of their careers is the perfect start for their next journey. Reunited.

Bizarre Love Triangle

Cagliari started their season off with a 2-1 win over Atalanta last week, and would love nothing more to take down Milan at the San Siro, something they rarely have done. Still coach Diego Lopez has a decent squad, missing only Cossu and Pisano, who are recovering from injuries. Lopez lined up a 4-4-2 formation against Atalanta with Sau and Pinilla up front. Of course, last week’s goals were both scored by midfielders Nainggolan and Cabera, but they have danger men up front, too, including Marco Sau.

But back to the couple of the day, Allegri said that Matri would train with the team today and be available on for tomorrow, which is rare for him with new players. He then clarified that Matri will not start, as he just joined the team. Which is interesting, because having been under Conte’s watch at Juventus, Matri is likely to be in better condition than any Milan player due to the infamous trainings Conte is known for. Either way, Allegri has praised Matri as the perfect strike partner for Balotelli. Which is strange, because that’s how Balotelli and Pazzini saw each other, but he’s refused to play them together for more than a few minutes. I guess it’s good to have a past together. Bromance.

Matri's not-so-secret admirer

In addition to Milan’s long term injuries. Allegri will likely be missing De Sciglio to a knee injury. So I would guess that either Urby or Constant would play on the left, depending on how much “physicality” Allegri deems necessary. He said he is not sure whether to play the 4-3-1-2 or the 4-3-3 tomorrow, but that either Robinho or Montolivo could play at trequartista. In all honesty, this is a huge improvement over playing Urby or Boateng there. But of course, having completed his move to Schalke 04 yesterday, Boateng sadly is no longer an option for him. It will be very interesting to see what he does in the midfield, though if he puts Montolivo in that more attacking role.

With the changes to the team yesterday, it will be a new adventure for Allegri, but I wouldn’t put it past him to stick with his other favorite Ghanaian, Sulley “The Killer” Muntari, who only has 1 yellow card and has neither killed anyone nor been sent off in his first two matches this season, despite serving a suspension last week against Verona. While he hasn’t played particularly well, he also hasn’t attacked any refs, so I suppose it wouldn’t be the end of the world to let him out on the pitch. I think most Milan fans hope to see Poli get a start, though, as he has been very exciting preseason up until now. Or maybe he’ll dust off Cristante and give him some minutes if Montolivo is played forward. Only time will tell.

Since their split, Matri has 2 Scudetti, Allegri 1... can they add to the Milan trophy count this year?

As I said in the last podcast, this looks like Milan’s match to lose. Although with all of the changes, and Milan’s very real efforts to bring back Kaka, amongst other last minute deals before Galliani Day™ on Monday, there could be enough distractions for Cagliari to take advantage of us. Let’s hope that reuniting the bromance of Allegri and Matri makes Milan stronger and more focused, rather than distracted, and Milan can avenge our embarrassing loss away to Verona last week. Playing at home, with a love brought back together, I do like our chances. Let’s hope the bromance kick starts Allegri’s typically slow start into our second win of the week, even if €30m is not on the line this time. Reunited.


This post inspired by the Cure’s “Lovesong”


Milan vs. Cagliari
Sunday, September 1 • 20:45 CEST (2:45pm EDT)
This match is apparently not being shown LIVE in the U.S.
Please check here for stream links before the match.