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Milan-Fiorentina Preview: In the Bleak Midwinter



Unlike the Christmas carol of the same name from a Christina Rossetti poem, Milan’s circumstances going into the Fiorentina match do not offer much hope, least of all any kind of savior. After two mindnumbingly bleak draws against Torino and Bologna, as well as an unthinkable Europa League loss, only the most masochistic Milan fans are likely to even watch this match. It’s another humbug Christmas match for us.

You never know how much you miss someone until they are gone


Fiorentina sit in tenth place on the table, right about where they seem to sit too often anymore. With five wins, seven draws, and four losses, it’s business as usual from another club that are not living up to their potential. Their last match on Sunday was an 3-1 win over Empoli, their first win in six weeks. For that match, Pioli lined up Lafont; Ceccherini, Pezzella, Vitor Hugo; Chiesa, Norgaard, Gerson, Biraghi; Benassi; Simeone, and Mirallas. Milenkovic should be returning from a one match ban, but I believe Diks and Diakhate will be missing due to injuries.

Milan are doing their best to redefine quagmire with their recent performances. As the injury crisis abates, the team seem to be suffering from psychological injuries of unknown origin. And there doesn’t seem to be any cure on the horizon, either. As if that weren’t bad enough, we will be missing both Bakayoko and Kessie to suspension. Strinic, Biglia, Caldara, and Bonaventura are all out long-term, but the injury that seems to be destroying our team is the talisman of mediocrity, Borini. In this bleak midwinter, he somehow maraudes as a savior.

Please fill my Christmas stocking with goals... or at least a decent performance

Speaking of marauding, the player that was Fiorentina’s captain and marauded as Milan’s captain for four years, Montolivo, is in danger of getting playing time. While I hate Montolivo perhaps more than the average Milan fan, he also angered Fiorentina fans before leaving there, so he may get abuse from both fan bases on Saturday, should all hope be lost and Gattuso utilize him. I have never advocated for Bertolacci to start, but desperate times call for desperate measures. Anyone is better than Montolivo. There is also talk of Gattuso changing formation to a 4-3-3 for this match due to the missing duo, at least that diminishes the potential doom of seeing Montolivo on the pitch again. So get that letter in to Santa ASAP.

The sons of our enemies are also our enemies

Despite playing in front of at least 50,000 fans at the San Siro, Fiorentina are more likely to take home points in this match just because of their performance quality alone. Our midfield isn’t our strength, but without Kessie and Bakayoko, we are likely to just let in goals like a sieve lets water through. It’s an early match, so the temptation to sleep through it is very real for me. Even my masochistic tendencies tells me facing off against anyone at this time will be a very bleak midwinter.


This match inspired by the music of Thurl Ravenscroft’s “You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch”


Serie A Week 17
Milan vs. Fiorentina
Saturday, December 22 • 15:00 CET (9am EST)
This match will be shown LIVE on ESPN2, ESPN Deportes, and RAI Italia in the U.S.