Tomorrow Milan face off against the team who currently sit in second place in Serie B, Crotone. Why should you care? Because it’s for the Coppa Italia, also known as the Precious. Also known as the only competition that Milan truly have a chance of winning a bonafide trophy in this season. And that reward also comes with a patch to wear all next year, so our kits don’t look quite so empty. (Also because Juventus have way too many patches this year, they can afford to lose some of them.) At this stage of the competition, it’s win or go home. So even if we are facing i Squali, or the Sharks, a team perfectly capable of surprising us, we need to take this match seriously and be fearless against the shark attack.
|"Wait, they have sharks in Serie B?"|
Crotone had to defeat Lega Pro side FeralpiSalo as well as fellow Serie B side Ternano to earn their ticket to the fourth round and the San Siro. In Serie B, they are undefeated in their last four matches, winning three of the four of them, including their match with Spezia on Friday. Their coach is Croatian Ivan Juric, who was an assistant at Inter and Palermo before coaching Mantova last season and now Crotone, a club he played with for five years. For their victory against Spezia on Friday, he lined up Cordaz; Yao, D. Santos, Ferrari, Zampano; Capezzi, Barberis, Martella; Ricci, Budimir, and Stoian. Stoian scored the winner in that match, his fourth goal for them this season. However, he is second to youngsters Ricci and Budimir, who both have five goals each thus far.
Mihajlovic has got to bring everyone back down to earth and be on high shark alert, as the only thing better for Serie B players than playing at the San Siro is winning at the San Siro. A number of Serie A sides were sent home by lesser teams so far this season in the Coppa Italia, a fate that would be particularly embarrassing after such a great win on Sunday. The question is how many first team players will Mihajlovic risk to ensure a victory? This is no midweek friendly, so it’s not time to call up all of the Primavera players. Yet if some key players were to play and get injured, it could be devastating for our league hopes. My guess would be that he will field most of his starters, but maybe give some time to others, too.
|They don't look as scary as sharks|
A lot of people say they don’t care about the Coppa Italia. But I hope that Milan do. Even if it is secondary to trying to improve in the league. Milan have the best path to the last rounds of any of the big Serie A teams, so it would be great if we could take advantage of the little luck afforded us. Also, taking out Crotone would be empowering for those of us who have a ridiculous fear of sharks… (did I just say “us?”… ummm… yeah, I’m afraid of sharks, there’s no shame in that, especially living at the beach… right?) With a lot of work and a little luck, maybe we can fend off this shark attack.
This post inspired by the music of the John Williams’ Theme from “Jaws”
Coppa Italia 4th Round
Milan vs. Crotone
Tuesday, December 1 • 21:00 CET (3pm EST)
This match will not be shown LIVE on TV in the U.S.