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SPAL vs. Milan: One Match to Rule Them All



Milan fans have become almost obsessed with returning to the Champions League. Although to be fair, their obsession is nothing on comparison to Juventus’ obsession with trying to win the Champions League. That obsession truly is more like the one ring, it has consumed and nearly destroyed them. No, Milan’s obsession with returning is a lot more like Frodo Baggins wanting to return home to the Shire after carrying the ring and seeing too much. We are a team that has traveled too far from home and are now ready to go back home. Only we have not escaped Mordor just yet. Not only does at least one more team need to drop points, but we face a worthy opponent in the eleventh place SPAL. As we discussed on the latest podcast, Milan have no choice but to win. This is one match to rule them all (or at least hopefully qualify for Champions League next season.)

Our exes have become Orcs

SPAL lost their match last week to Udinese, 3-2, despite dominating possession and taking more shots. Although to be fair, they did come back from a 3-0 deficit, which makes them even more dangerous. For that match, Semplici lined up Gomis: Cionek, Vicari, Bonifazi; Lazzri, Murgia Valoti, Kurtic, Fares; former Milan young striker Petagna, and Floccari. He also subbed on another former Milan young player, Paloschi. I am sure they would both love to score on Milan and wouldn’t think twice about sinking our Champions League hopes, either.  Missiroli and Felipe are uncertain for this match due to injury, but other than that, Semplici should have a full squad at his disposal.

Gattuso is still without the suspended young Paqueta, as well as the injured Bonaventura, Caldara, and Calabria. It is unlikely that Strinic will be available to make his debut for Milan, having been out all season due to first a heart problem, then injuries. On the flip side, Suso, Calhanoglu, and Piatek have all scored recently after not having scored for a while, so there definitely seems to be a slight resurgence in mentality. Which is great timing, considering this is a do or die (or at least lose the possibility of €50,000 plus in revenue) scenario.

Scoring options

None of this will matter should Inter and Atalanta both win their matches. Well, it may still mean a Europa League spot, but with the table so tight, even that is not guaranteed when the final whistle blows in all of the matches on Sunday evening. The only thing Milan can control now is winning our match. And SPAL would love to take that from us, I’m sure. However, this is the closest Milan have gotten to returning home to the Champions League again since the last time we qualified. So if we have the faith of Hobbits, the wisdom of the Elves, and a little magic from the Wizards, then perhaps we can at least win this match. The one match to rule them all.


This post inspired by the writings of J.R.R. Tolkien


Serie A Week 38
SPAL vs. Milan
Sunday, May 26 • 20:30 CEST (2:30pm EDT)
This match can be streamed LIVE on ESPN+ in the U.S.