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Udinese-Milan Preview: Seeing Things in Black and White

From one black and white club on Sunday to another this Saturday, it may seem like Milan are only seeing things in black and white. But this enemy is different. Whereas Sunday’s opponent were the league leaders, this week finds Udinese in 15th place. However after knocking us out of the Coppa Italia this year, we can’t afford to take these zebrette lightly.

Please no airplane landing for this one, he is Udinese's top scorer this season with 8 goals



To be fair, Guidolin faced off with Seedorf in only his second match in charge. But he chose his tactics wisely, used his subs even more wisely, and sent Milan home from the Coppa. And while Seedorf has learned quickly, I would still be wary of the veteran tactician. Their home advantage is also daunting, as is the fact that they simply seem to know how to play Milan.

However, Udinese are coming off of a 3-0 loss at the hands of Cagliari. But that again can be deceptive as their form prior to that was two wins and a draw. For the Cagliari loss, Guidolin lined up Scuffet; Naldo, Danilo, Heurtaux; Basta, Yebda, Gabriel, Pereyra, Pinzi; Di Natale, and Bruno. However, Danilo saw yellow in that match and will miss Saturday’s clash. Guidolin will also be without goalkeeper Benussi, defender Bubnjic, and midfielder Lazzari, all do to long-term injuries.

Will he be able to out-coach Seedorf for a second time?

Milan’s injury list puts Poli and Balotelli as doubtful for this match, as of this writing. Both are working to return for Tuesday’s Champions League game in Madrid. El Shaarawy is still out, of course, and Cristante as well. However Silvestre returned to training this week, and Zapata traveled to Barcelona for Colombia’s friendly with Tunisia, even if he didn’t play. Honda is unlikely to feature Saturday, as he will only be returning to Milano from Japan on Friday. But I think Seedorf will have a healthier squad available to him, barring any travel or injury related issues from those on duty for their national teams.

What gives me hope of three points on Saturday is the consistency with which Milan are playing well. For Atleti, Sampdoria and Juve, despite much squad rotation, there is a clear and obvious improvement in style of play, teamwork, and drive that is so encouraging. Even if we seem to run out of steam about 60-65 min. in, it is a pleasure to watch such great attacking football with so many shots taken instead of only playing a possession game. So much intensity and so much determination and drive, it is basically the opposite of what we have seen all season.

Hopefully our masked wonder will be able to punish Udinese

I trust that Seedorf will choose a starting eleven with great care, giving heed to the Champions League match on Tuesday and being mindful of players who played midweek and/or travelled. Which is a nice thing to be able to say, because we haven’t seen squad rotation for so long, I almost forgot it was a possibility. But after choosing the players, it will be important for them to do the job. By putting the game away early on, it would relieve a lot of pressure once that fitness issue kicks in for the last half hour.

So I am optimistic. Hopeful for the three points, for no injuries, and a great game ahead of the big do or die match on Tuesday. Just because these zebrette had our number in January doesn’t mean they can take this new and improved Milan. Because Seedorf has them playing much better football already, not just seeing things in black and white.


This post inspired by the music of The Ramones


Our next match is
Udinese vs. Milan
Saturday, March 8 • 18:00 CET (12noon CET)
This match will be shown LIVE on BeIN Sport and RAI in the U.S.
Check here for stream links ahead of the match