Juventus-Milan Preview: On A Wing and A Prayer

Just when you thought things couldn’t get any worse for Milan, we face Juve on Sunday. Whether or not you buy into the whole ref mythology, they are always tough to beat. Especially since their wagebill is more than double ours, it really is almost as if they buy results. Which they can afford to do because they own their own stadium, hotel, and accused rapist. Truly, if this was even remotely going to be a sporting match, it would be one thing. But with the lack of character in their entire organization, it’s a match I’d rather not have to play at all. And with Milan still struggling to find our feet, this one will definitely be played on a wing and a prayer.

Wait, I'm so confused...

Juventus have had good games this season, but not many. Everyone who was excited to see the elite team of Serie A play Sarri-ball have been largely disappointed. But even if they have struggled in comparison to recent years’ teams, they still win. Like Wednesday in the Champions League, for example, it seemed as if they would fall to European powerhouse Lokomotiv Moscow, when Aaron Ramsey “stole” Christiano Ronaldo’s goal. But in the end, and I mean literally in stoppage time, Douglas Costa rescued his team from embarrassment. Let us all pray for Aaron Ramsey, who for some reason found it necessary to apologize to Ronaldo, even if Ronaldo hasn’t made a free kick all season anyway.

Back to Serie A, though. Juventus played very underwhelmingly in the Derby della Mole last weekend. While they managed to beat 15th place Torino, it took a rare moment of brilliance from newcomer de Ligt to give them the very ugly 1-0 win. For that match, Sarri lined up Szczesny; Cuadrado, Bonucci, de Ligt, De Sciglio; Bentancur, Pjanic, Matuidi; Bernardeschi; Dybala, and Ronaldo. Both Ronaldo and de Ligt have been listed as doubtful due to minor injuries, but the latest reports indicate that both may be available for this match. Sarri is still missing Chiellini, who was like the cornerstone of this team, and the foundation for their defense. It is likely we could face both of our traitorous exes in Higuain and Bonucci. And with our luck, both would score on us. There is some guy called De Sciglio in their team, too, whose name sounds familiar, but I can’t quite remember where I know his name from.

Look like clowns, play like mercenaries

Milan limp into this match with a mentality that is barely alive at all. As if three ownership changes in two years after ten years of decline at the hands of Berlusconi and Galliani weren’t enough, Milan have also already changed coaches this season. With so many young players and so much confusion, it has proven to be very difficult for them to look or play like a team at all. Especially with all of the distractions off the pitch, too. The media as, well as fans on social media and in the stadium have made things even worse with their entitled whining and screaming.

Pioli has his work cut out for him, and cannot possibly be looking forward to Sunday. He is like the first responder to a terrible tragedy, and at times, it seems like he may not survive, either. For this match, he is still missing Musacchio, and now Castillejo, who got injured playing like a superstar on Sunday. It seemed as if Suso might still miss, too, but he has been training with the team most of the week, and looks to be fit. The unusual rumors are floating around that Pioli may try a three man back line against Juve, starting a 3-4-2-1 with Theo Hernandez and Conti in the midfield, Rodriguez in the back with Romagnoli and Duarte. It would be a bold move if it is true, but actually might work. And by work, I mean keep the goal differential down a bit. Winning this thing is just a pipe dream.

Ridiculously criticized by his own fans, Suso is our best chance at not humiliating ourselves

The problem is that with Milan fans already competing with Verona for worst fans in the league (at least Verona stick by their own team,) and considering the seven years of insane acrimony between these two clubs, this thing is more likely to end like a bad family holiday dinner than a sporting football match. No matter what Maresca does, both sets of fans will destroy him. No matter what the final score is, both teams will go home unhappy. Truly, it would be so much better if this match simply didn’t have to be played.

However, the match must go on. And Milan must step onto the pitch in Turin to face those hideous clown kits, with a fan base that sometimes supports the Milan players, at least one or two of them. Juve will probably still play awful, despite spending a king’s ransom for the best players in the world. But they will almost undoubtedly win, unless Maresca makes a Tagliavento-level mistake or something. So Milan will need courage to stand up and play their best match of the season. And even then, their fate rides only on a wing and a prayer.

This post inspired by the music of Blue Öyster Cult’s (Don’t Fear) The Reaper

Serie A Week 12
Juventus vs. Milan
Sunday, November 10 • 20:45 CET (2:45pm EST)
This match can be streamed LIVE on ESPN+ in the U.S.

Juventus-Milan Preview: On A Wing and A Prayer Juventus-Milan Preview: On A Wing and A Prayer Reviewed by Elaine on 11:59 PM Rating: 5
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