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Palermo-Milan Preview: Important Life Lessons


Movies are filled with so much CGI and special effects now, but you don’t have to look too far back to learn some realistic and important life lessons from film. For example, in the movie “The Princess Bride,” Vizzini, a Sicilian, teaches us two important lessons shortly before (spoiler alert) his death. The first is “Never get involved in a land war in Asia.” I feel like we are narrowly avoiding that blunder with the Chinese takeover, since they are coming to us. But the second is a little more ominous: “Never go in against a Sicilian when death is on the line.” For us, gratefully, death is not exactly our fate if we are not triumphant on Sunday. However for Palermo, who are 19th on the table, relegation is definitely looming, and three points to them would definitely be a lifeline. Just as the Sicilian in the movie was outsmarted by the Dread Pirate Roberts, I am hoping that Montella will outsmart former Milan midfielder and current Palermo manager Roberto De Zerbi. Despite what Zamparini says, his job is definitely on the line. So tomorrow we could see some important life lessons.

These Sicilians gave Juve a run for their money, they are not to be underestimated

Palermo would probably be a good team if Zamparini spent half as much on players as he does coaches. Not being able to sort out the difference, he has been looking to sell his beloved coaching-go-round club to anyone who will buy it. Possibly even the Chinese. De Zerbi, on the other hand, was a Milan youth product who ended up being loaned out to lower division clubs during his senior time at the club, then moving on to other teams. Appropriately, then, he began his coaching career at a Serie D amateur club, moving up to his former club Foggia, now a Lega Pro second division side. Even more appropriate, then, that he should next go to Palermo, which is a Serie A club that is run like a Lega Pro side. Lega Pro is where they are headed, too, if De Zerbi is unable to salvage the sinking ship.

That sinking ship lost 2-1 away to Cagliari on Monday. For that effort, De Zerbi lined up Posavec; Andelkovic, Cionek, Aleesami, Rispoli, Jajlo, Chochev, Hiljemark, Nestooski, Quaison, and Embalo. De Zerbi will be missing Rajkovic, Balogh, Gonzalez, Bentivegna, Giuliano, and Trajkovski to injury. Although Palermo have put forth some valiant efforts this season, their record is 1W, 3D, and 7L. And some of those losses of late have been slaughters. But who can blame them? While Zamparini has miraculously kept De Zerbi the whole season so far, these players are used to coming to training to a new coach every other day. With that kind of management, it’s no wonder the Sicilian lost the battle of wits in “The Princess Bride.”

"As you wish"

Montella is working for a club who was fast going the way of the coach-crazed Zamparini. And is actually being sold to the Chinese as we speak. Yet he has been able to keep those distractions away from the players and magically give them a winning mentality, against all odds. But that mentality is still fragile, and the football even more fragile. After caving to Genoa 3-0 ten days ago, he will likely have them be cautious as they travel the treacherous way to Sicily. Those who will not be making the trip include Niang, Vangioni, Montolivo, Calabria, and Bertolacci. Antonelli and Fernandez trained with the team this week and should make the trip, with Fernandez most likely starting on the bench.

Will we finally see Mati Fernandez in a Milan shirt, even for a few minutes? That might be another fairy tale altogether

In addition to the valuable lessons we learned from the Sicilian in “The Princess Bride,” we learned that true love is worth risking everything for. Which is why I am going to be awake and searching for a stuttering, pixelated stream at 6am on a Sunday morning to watch my one true love. We also learned a lesson that Prince Humperdinck learned the hard way: never underestimate the abilities of a giant (Donnarumma,) a skilled swordsman driven by vengeance (Romagnoli,) and of course, the very clever and talented Dread Pirate Roberts (Locatelli.) Zamparini and his legions of sacked coaches should theoretically be able to defeat our young motley crew. Especially since they are Sicilian and death is on the line. But Milan have one thing on their side: true love. And if we are all true to Milan on Sunday, then we can avoid the blunders the Sicilian warned against and live happily ever after.


This post inspired by the movie “The Princess Bride.” Go watch it. Now.


Palermo vs. Milan
Sunday, November 6 • 15:00 CET (9am EST)*
This match will NOT be shown LIVE in the U.S.

*Remember that Daylight Savings Time ends in the U.S. early Sunday morning. Set your clocks one hour back

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