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Milan-Fiorentina: Purple Pressure


I think the Viola have been waiting for this fixture since last May, when a controversial referee call was all it took for Milan to snatch third place in the league away from Fiorentina, allowing Milan to qualify for the Champions League and leaving Fiorentina to rot away in the Europa League. This created a new rivalry which saw them sell Adem Ljajic to now league leaders Roma this summer to spite us, as well as creating a whole new line of purple t-shirts: “il Rigore di Milan.” So yeah, no love lost whatsoever. And no pressure on tomorrow’s ref, either. The purple pressure is on.

One of these things is not like the other


Fiorentina sit 6th on the table, one point behind Inter and Verona, with 5 wins, 3 draws, and two losses. Don’t let the draws and losses mislead you, though, they have been very unlucky with injuries and ref calls again this season. And one of those wins was vs. Juventus, when they came back from 2-0 and punished the Turin giants 4-2. So even if they’ve been a bit unlucky, they are also capable of great things.

Their most recent bad luck came on Wednesday, when Cuadrado was sent off after a very controversial second yellow, a decision which they are appealing, but will undoubtedly not win. Additionally, their bad luck includes long term injuries to Mario Gomez and Ahmed Hegazy, as well as short-term injuries to Josip Ilicic and Massimo Ambrosini. Massimo Ambrosini…. Now why does that name sound familiar? Oh, yeah. He was our captain, the one that management kicked to the curb this summer, and Fiorentina quickly swooped in and made him an offer to be able to keep playing in Serie A this season. And despite being injured, he is doing everything possible to be fit for tomorrow’s game. No pressure.

Will he make it back in time from his injury?

So despite most likely being without the aforementioned players, Montella has a decent squad to bring to the San Siro tomorrow. On Wednesday, he started Neto; Roncaglia, Compper, Savic; Pizarro, Aquilani, Cuadrado, Valero, Pasqual; Joaquin, and G. Rossi. Yes, that’s Giuseppe Rossi, leading the league with 9 goals after coming off of a knee injury and then re-injury that kept him out twice as long as it should have.

Milan sit six points behind Fiorentina on the table, and lucky to be in only 10th spot. After a start that was almost as bad as last year’s but with a better squad, Milan have been more than just unlucky, we have been atrocious. At the center or the hurricane that is Milan right now is the lovable master tactician, Massimiliano Allegri. Just typing his name hurts.

One of these Milan players is not like the other

So who will Allegri play tomorrow? I don’t know, I am not a fortune teller. But he certainly won’t play Mexes, who has two more games to serve of his suspension. Other than that, he’ll have to consider whether to play Abbiati, who has been back training with the squad this week, or perhaps Gabriel again in goal. With Silvestre still out injured, he’ll probably go with Zapata and Zaccardo again in the middle, and Abate and De Sciglio on the flanks. I can’t possibly predict who he’ll play in midfield besides Montolivo and De Jong. And his attack is also in question, given the poor form of Balotelli, amongst other things.

The choice is obvious... for Allegri 

One thing is for certain, I expect Fiorentina to attack this game like a grudge match. And if Milan play even their best football, they stand to lose. Our best hope is luck, and I don’t like investing my heart in luck alone. So we’ll see how Allegri does with the lineups, and if our boys can pull of a win on something besides luck. No pressure, only purple pressure.


This post inspired by the music of Prince’s “Purple Rain” album


Milan vs. Fiorentina
Saturday, November 2 • 20:45 CET (3:45 EDT)
This match is being shown LIVE on RAI in the U.S.
Check the comments for stream links ahead of the match