Milan-Brescia Preview: Donnarumma vs Donnarumma

Saturday is the big day that many have seen coming since Brescia won promotion at the end of last season: it’s Donnarumma vs. Donnarumma. Alfredo Donnarumma was the capocannoniere last season in Serie B, and Gigio Donnarumma is Milan’s starting goalkeeper. It’s David vs. Goliath, the shooter vs. the shotblocker. And the strangest thing is that Milan might not be favorites to win.

Not brother

To dispel a voracious internet myth, Alfredo is NOT brother to Antonio and Gigio. In fact, they are not blood relations at all, although they all come from the Naples region of Italy. If anyone online bothered to fact check their internet mythology, they would learn that Alfredo is just shy of four months younger than Antonio. So unless giving birth to a baby who became a giant, then conceiving and giving birth to a baby who is fully 5”-6” shorter and much slimmer than the other brothers Donnarumma all in the space of four months was Marinella Donnarumma’ super power, then I’m going to call it fake news. (Also, the players themselves all have publicly denied blood relations, so there’s that.)

Alfredo scored the penalty for Brescia on Sunday as they defeated Cagliari 1-0. For that matchup, Corini lined up Joronen; Sabelli, Cistana, Chancellor, Martella, Bisoli, Tonali, Dessena; Spalek, Ayé, and Alfredo Donnarumma. One could argue that it was “only” Cagliari, but Brescia looked good, and were very confident. And they now have the added confidence of three points to start their season.

Brescia's midfield gem, Tonali

For our match on Saturday, Corini will be missing Ndoj to injury. Also in doubt are Torregrossa and Magnani. Most notably, he will be without former Milan striker Mario Balotelli, who is suspended for the first four matches of the season due to a nasty foul in his last match of the season for Marseille in Ligue 1. But even without the big man, Alfredo Donnarumma is a huge scoring threat, and could neutralize the man he shares a last name with like kryptonite.

Our young Donnarumma played in net on Sunday as Milan were humiliated by Udinese 1-0. For that match Giampaolo made some bizarre choices in his starting 11, then made some even more bizarre comments after the loss, as we discussed on the podcast this week. While he initially said he might go back to a 4-3-3, rumors this week are that he is looking at a 4-3-2-1 Christmas Tree formation. Not a confident decision after a demoralizing loss on Sunday, it's hard to realistically see a Milan win here.

It would be strange to start Jack, he's just coming back from a lengthy injury
But who knows with Giampaolo?

Giampaolo will be legit missing Caldara, Biglia, and Hernandez to injuries. Laxalt is supposed to be transferring anywhere else, and with the mercato still open for a few more days, anyone else could leave, I suppose. (Castillejo and Borini, that is a personal invitation.) Bonaventura wasn’t even called up for the Cesena match, was called up but didn’t feature last week, but the media are claiming he could start this week. I don’t believe that, but I also didn’t believe any coach would leave all of their new signings on the bench to start a match, either. I’m pretty sure every other coach started at least one new player, else what is the mercato for anyway? Why on earth would you field the same 11 players that the coach before you had available when you had four new signings that were healthy and available? It boggles the mind.

Back to the Donnarumma showdown, though. Both players will want their name to be the Donnarumma that is remembered from that match. And ironically, they can both help one another do just that. If Alfredo scores, he’ll have to get it past Gigio. And if Gigio makes breathtaking saves, they will most likely be on Alfredo. It is a strange dichotomy in which they are both connected, just not by blood. They will be on opposite teams, both with the same intent: to win the match for their team. It’s not just Milan vs. Brescia, it’s Donnarumma vs. Donnarumma.

This post inspired by the music of Gotye’s “Somebody That I Used to Know”

Serie A Week 2
Milan vs. Brescia
Saturday, August 31 • 18:00 CEST (12noon EDT)
This match can be streamed on ESPN+ in the U.S.

Milan-Brescia Preview: Donnarumma vs Donnarumma Milan-Brescia Preview: Donnarumma vs Donnarumma Reviewed by Elaine on 1:27 AM Rating: 5
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