In the movie “The Princess Bride,” the hero, Westley, challenges the villain, Prince Humperdinck, to a duel. Not to the death, but to the pain. Like Westley, who had suffered immeasurable pain and even death only to be brought back to life by true love, AC Milan has suffered immeasurably these past five years. Still weak from the suffering, Milan’s sale is hoping to bring new life back to the club, our one true love. Empoli are near death… er… relegation, but still five points clear at this point. So Milan need to fight them to the pain… close enough so that they can still hear the shriek of every child at the sight of the 17th place club, just above relegation, wallowing in freakish misery in Serie A.
To be fair, Empoli suffered quite a bit of pain when we met in November, as we used any means necessary for a 4-1 win over them. But now they are coming to the San Siro for more, so clearly to the pain is what they seek. Despite a controversial 2-1 win against Tuscan rivals Fiorentina last week, we cannot let them take control for even one moment. Even if we have to bluff, it is important that they fear us. For Fiorentina’s fateful loss last week, Martusciello lined up Skorupski; Barba, Bellusci, Pasqual, Veseli, Thiam, Buchel, El Kaddouri, Croce, Krunic, and Mchedlidze. Empoli will be without Cosic, but Pucciarelli is also in doubt. Other than that, like Prince Humperdinck, they will be fully fit to duel.
|Westley's true love wears Milan's colors and has Milan's fighting spirit|
Montella will be missing the usual suspects: Abate, Bertolacci, and Bonaventura. Montolivo played 90 minutes with the Primavera last week, which would demonstrate match fitness for most. However, this is Montolivo we are talking about, and his match fitness has been in question for much of his time at Milan. So I guess it comes down to whether or not Montella calls him up or plays him. Pasalic will be back from suspension, so we will be better off than poor Westley was when he challenged Humperdinck to the duel.
|Hoping to leave Empoli tied up and empty handed, too|
Westley would do anything for his true love, and I hope our boys will do the same for the crest they wear on their kits. I am not a cruel person by nature, but if Empoli want to play in Serie A, they may have to play to the pain. We cannot give them any points right now, not with Inter just behind us. And if we are to be true to our own true love, then leaving them to wallow in 17th place is what we must do. I for one hope Milan come out with the courage of Westley, despite what we’ve endured, and from the whistle say “Drop. Your. Sword.”
This post inspired by one of the greatest movies ever, “The Princess Bride”
Milan vs. Empoli
Sunday, April 23 • 15:00 CST (9am EDT)
This match will be shown LIVE on BeINSports in the U.S.