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Milan-Juventus Preview: DAI Another Day


Normally I would write about my fear of Juve or try to make clever comments about their myriad fines because of their fans’ behaviors or whatever. But not this time. This time there is something far more hilarious than anything I could make up or poke fun of. Because this time, they’ve got Allegri.

The irony is too much


That doesn’t take fear out of facing the team that has won three consecutive Scudetti, for a total of 32 in all. #SlowStartAllegri™ seems to have finally found his groove… he’s won his first two matches with Juventus, perhaps his best start ever. And he even managed to defeat the superior* Swedish team Malmö 2-0 on Tuesday in the Champions League. So that’s three official matches in a row, people. Whether or not Milan can snap that streak will be dependent on so many things. (*superior is the evaluation given by Allegri, not any other source.)

The most obvious, of course, being the Misters. Juventus have Milan’s hand-me-down, sacked after three and a half years of DAI-ing. He won when handed champions, but when given midtable or lower level players, he managed to bring the entire team’s mentality to that level. But Juve are a team of champions, they haven’t forgotten what Conte taught them about how to win, and they are not yet ready to kill themselves due to him screaming “Dai Dai Dai” incessantly for so long.

Two very different styles of conducting

Milan have chosen a newer, younger model, a Milan legend in his own right, who seems to have the exact opposite effect on the minds of the players. Although Inzaghi played for Juventus before he came to Milan, no one will have any doubt as to where his loyalties lie on Saturday. He has taken the hodge-podge group of players and in two and a half months, transformed them into a unified team willing to bleed for the shirt individually and collectively.

So I suppose the determining factor would be whether or not Conte’s winning residue is enough, coupled with the team’s quality, to defeat a relentless never-say-DAI team of red and black who make up for any lack of quality or recent trophies with some kind of magical spell that Inzaghi has bewitched them with.

*Awkward*

Allegri has already blessed his new team with an injury crisis like only he knows how to instill. I believe as of a week or two ago, he had five starters injured. But unfortunately for Milan, his ‘get them back on the pitch at all costs’ mentality has most of them playing again. Except for our beloved Pirlo, of course. Vidal is expected to make it back for our match (although not certain,) and Luca Marrone may be in Allegri’s vault, no one knows for sure. Against Malmö on Tuesday, the DAI lined up Buffon, Chiellini, Bonucci, Caceres; Evra, Pogba, Marchisio, Asamoah, Lichtsteiner, Tevez, and Llorente, Either Barzagli has angered his DAIness or the rumors of him being “saved” for our match could actually be true. As we know all too well, the only thing that is certain is that Allegri will only make early subs if he is forced to by injury.

Mindboggling tactics

Ironically, Inzaghi is facing an injury list that looks like Allegri’s been training at Milanello again. While El Shaarawy and Torres are back training with the team and could likely be called up for Saturday’s match, Alex is out with a groin injury, Lopez is out with a hamstring injury, Montolivo is still out from his long-term injury, and Saponara was injured in training on Monday and had surgery on his knee the very next day. The great news is that Bonera is suspended. I know that by only being responsible for two of the four goals conceded on Sunday, his work is unfinished, but thankfully, he took one for the team. Truly, thank you, Bonera.

Despite the injuries, nothing is really certain as far as the lineup goes. Well Abbiati should feature in goal. And we know the injured players will not be playing. Fans will be waiting to see if he gives his number nine, Torres, his debut, or whether he continues to ride the wave of Menez fever that hit when he played so well as a false nine on Sunday. Rumors abound that a trio of Honda-Menez-El Shaarawy is most likely, but who knows if Inzaghi has been consulted regarding those rumors. We actually have quite a few options up front, it’s quite nice. And the one thing that seems obvious is that every player will give 100% for the shirt. That’s really all we can ask for.

My how times have changed

So we mute our TVs, laptops, phones, or whatever device we are watching the game on in preparation for an onslaught of DAIs of epic proportion (because we can still watch Inzaghi’s celebrations, we don’t need the volume for that.) And I hear Allegri is working on his coach-player relations/celebrations with some awkward slaps on the backs when he subs them off in stoppage time, so that should be hilarious. This match could go either way so easily, but it would be brilliant if Inzaghi outcoached the coach again who prematurely ended his career. I like to think that our boys only got a taste of Juve blood when we beat them in the Trofeo TIM, and that their unbelievable mentality will make up for any quality they lack on Saturday. Let’s send Allegri home crying again and let him DAI another day.


This post inspired by schadenfreude


Milan vs. Juventus
Saturday, September 20 • 20:45 CEST (2:45pm EDT)
This match will be shown on RAI in the U.S.
Check comments for stream links ahead of the match