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Milan-Sassuolo Preview: Kryptonite


One might think that kryptonite is a convenient title given the green of Sassuolo’s kits, but actually, it refers to the power they seem to have over Milan. Despite being owned by unabashed Milan fan Squinzi, or maybe because of that fact, Milan have been done in by the little team that could far too many times. Specifically by hat trick Berardi. And now that little team sit in fifth place, while we have slid all the way down to thirteenth on the table. If I didn’t know any better, I’d say they are definitely our kryptonite.

Has he always been Milan's kryptonite?

Former Milan defender Acerbi said this past week that he doesn’t think about the past when asked about Milan. And why would he? He is a key player at Sassuolo, Conte is calling him up to the national team regularly, and his team are in a European competition spot. Which is ironic for Milan fans, who think of the fact that he was purchased after Thiago Silva left, a stark reminder of Milan’s fall from grace. But now he is the superhero, and Milan are being tormented by his team’s collective kryptonite. Don’t get me wrong, I’m happy for him. The guy lost his father, who always dreamed of his son playing for Milan, then beat cancer…twice. He deserves to be a superhero. It just sucks to be Milan.

Sassuolo come to the San Siro with a most recent record of D-W-D-L-W, with that most recent win being a convincing 2-1 defeat of Lazio. For that match, Di Francesco lined up Consigli; Vrsajlko, Peluso, Acerbi, Cannavaro; Magnanelli, Missiroli, Biondini; Falcinelli, Sansone, and Berardi. Di Francesco will be without Antei still due to injury, with Duncan and Peluso doubtful but likely to be available.

And here we thought it was Bonera who was our kryptonite

Mihajlovic, on the other hand still has some injury woes. Still no Niang, Menez, or Balotelli. As if that wasn’t enough of a hit to our fire power up front, Bacca is also still in doubt, and Bertolacci is also still in doubt* due to his injury picked up midweek in the stupendous (or was that just stupid?) Trofeo Berlusconi match. And speaking of Berlusconi, he has given Mihajlovic a vote of confidence after visiting Milanello. Not sure if that is a good thing or not.

Mihajlovic also discussed changing formations, especially in light of only having two forwards available. His call for an exorcist was quite ironic, considering that we are the Diavoli. But given the meltdown from top to bottom at this club the past three years, perhaps Mihajlovic is right – only an exorcist can solve this problem. Too bad Lotito hasn’t called us to give a recommendation.

Wrong story, Joker

If this match is going to see Milan downed by Berardi’s kryptonite yet again, then someone mixed up the story line, as we got the Joker, Rocchi, as the ref this week. So now we’re going into the match as underdogs, missing most of our forwards, with our supposed twelfth man advantage likely turned against us, and we have to be prepared for a lot of cards and bad calls, too. I honestly don’t know how Mihajlovic sleeps at night. But maybe the time change will be like an exorcist and wake up this squad from the spell this management has put on them. Or maybe the kryptonite will prove we are actually superheroes after all.


This post inspired by the music of John Williams’ “Theme from Superman”


Milan vs. Sassuolo
Sunday, October 25 • 15:00 CET (10am EDT)*
*Note the time difference due to European Daylight Savings Time ending
This match will be shown LIVE on RAI in the U.S.


* Update • Callups for Milan-Sassuolo: 
Goalkeepers: Abbiati, Donnarumma, Diego Lopez
Defenders: Abate, Alex, Antonelli, Calabria, De Sciglio, Rodrigo Ely, Mexes, Romagnoli, Zapata
Midfielders: Bertolacci, Bonaventura, De Jong, Josè Mauri, Kucka, Montolivo, Poli, Suso
Attackers: Bacca, Cerci, Honda, Luiz Adriano


Official Lineups:

Milan (4-3-3): Donnarumma; Abate, Alex, Romagnoli, Antonelli; Kucka, Montolivo, Poli; Cerci, Bacca, Bonaventura

Sassuolo: Consigli; Versaljko, Cannavaro, Acerbi, Peluso; Laribi, Magnanelli, Missiroli; Berardi, Defrel, Floro Flores