Torino-Milan Preview: Taking the Bull by the Horns

The race for the Scudetto has begun, and Milan are already in the back seat after having lost our first game, three points behind the other contenders. So we are already in the position of needing to win every game. And that includes away games to last year’s 16th place team, Torino. So we have no choice but to give those bulls a run for their money.

Last time we went to Torino, it was a goalfest: Milan 4, Torino 2. Can we get a clean sheet this time?

Despite spending time back and forth from Serie A to Serie B in recent years, Torino were once the greatest club in Serie A, known as “Il Grande Torino.” Despite suffering calcio’s greatest tragedy, the infamous Superga disaster in 1949, they are still tied for 5th in Serie A of teams who have won the most titles. Which means they’ve always got something to prove. And traveling to the Stadio Olimpico in Torino, we might just be considered underdogs in this one.

Coach Giampiero Ventura saw his side upset by Serie B side Pescara in the Coppa Italia a week before the Serie A season started, and thus knocked out of the competition. But his team did what Milan couldn’t on opening day: they beat a newly promoted side. So they started with a 2-0 win to Sassuolo and a 2-0 loss to Atalanta, both away games. Which tells me that I have no idea what to expect from them at home.

The force is strong with this one, even if he is Immobile.

Against Atalanta, Ventura lined up Padelli; Rodriguez, Moretti, Glik; D’Ambrosio, Basha, El Kaddouri, Vives, Darmian; Immobile, and Larrondo. That I can find, no one is injured or suspended for this match, so Ventura should have a full squad to choose from. (Although on a personal note, I hope Glik falls into some misfortune and is unable to start because he has a history of being a very dirty player, and I don’t need that in my beautiful game.)

I wish I could say the same for Milan. In addition to other long-term injuries, Abate received a muscle injury while on national team duty, and both De Sciglio and Silvestre had arthroscopic knee surgery this week for meniscus troubles and are both expected to be out for at least a month. With Zapata coming home from national team duty halfway around the world, Allegri has quite a conundrum about who to lineup in our defense. He has called up a number of Primavera players, but will he start them?

Our one guaranteed starter in defense

The news that everyone has been waiting for is Kaká’s return to Serie A. Allegri has a wealth of talent available up front, including his Cagliari bromance, Alessandro Matri, whom he insists will be the perfect partner for Balotelli. (I am not at all convinced.) Poli has volunteered to slot in at right back in our time of need, probably mostly because he knows Allegri wasn’t planning to start him in the midfield, not while he’s got Montolivo, De Jong, and Muntari available. But in the end, I can never guess who Allegri will start. I’d like to say each starting lineup is like a surprise party, but really, it’s usually more like being woken up by your mom’s hysterical sobbing on Christmas Eve to find out that your grandmother died, so let’s not get our hopes too high.

Shiny new toys for Allegri

Whoever Allegri starts needs to have their A game. I have never complained about a team that dominates from the first whistle and takes an early lead and shows no mercy. Like taking the bull by the horns. In fact, it would be brilliant if we could actually break Torinio’s record for the biggest thrashing home or away. (10-0 vs. Alessandria in 1947-8 at home and 7-0 vs. Roma 1945-6 away.) But I don’t need such a thrashing, just the three points. So let’s go to the Olimpico and show i Granata how its done. (Please.)

This post inspired by the music of Nitzer Ebb

Torino vs. Milan
Saturday, September 14 • 20:45 CEST (2:45 EDT)
This match is NOT being shown LIVE in the U.S.
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Torino-Milan Preview: Taking the Bull by the Horns Torino-Milan Preview: Taking the Bull by the Horns Reviewed by Elaine on 12:09 AM Rating: 5
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