Milan-Genoa Preview 2: Somber Football


It feels like I just wrote a preview for Milan-Genoa. Probably because I actually did, just a week ago. While the players have been itching to play, teams and authorities have been fighting over how to handle the scheduling of games, and fans have just ached for some football to distract them from the whole scenario, the brutal truth is that all of this is happening because people are sick and dying. So with all matches between now and April 3rd ordered to be played behind closed doors, tomorrow’s match will be some somber football.

Scenes at San Siro last week

To demonstrate how somber it will be to have an eerie silence in the stadium instead of 50,000-70,000 vocal fans, at the time that we should have played this match last Sunday, there were over 1,000 cases of COVID-19 patients in Italy, and 29 people had died from the virus. As of yesterday, only six days later, there were more than 4600 cases of the virus in Italy, and 197 people had died. I know we all love Milan and football, but there really are times when life matters.

Davide Nicola was just getting some results out of his relegation-zone team after having been appointed at the end of December. I guess Genoa are living proof of the “third time’s a charm” saying, since he is actually their third coach this season. Before all of the postponements, he managed to guide them to two draws and two wins before losing 3-2 to second place Lazio at the end of February.

So random

Against Lazio, he lined up Perin; Biraschi, Soumaoro, Masiello; Ankersen, Behrami, Schöne, Cassata, Criscito; Favilli, and Sanabria. Nicola will be without Radovanovic, who is out for the season, as well as Ghiglione and Lerager, while Pajac is doubtful for this match. Beware of former Milan defender Zapata. He has only played once under Nicola, but all Milan fans know that his random moments of brilliance can sink an opposing team (and that his random lapses of concentration can singk his own team… fingers crossed.) Also watch out for short-term former Milan forward Destro, who has five goals for Genoa this season.

As our tallest player now, he should definitely rise to the occasion

Even with a whole week without matches, Pioli still has an injured list comprised of Duarte, Biglia, and Krunic, with Gigio Donnarumma also still out. However, Kjaer could be fit for this one. Begovic is reported to start ahead of the injured Gigio. He subbed on for Gigio against Fiorentina and did well, so I don’t worry as much about that spot. Also, he is the only Milan player with his own podcast, which should more than make up for anything that might happen in the game. At center back, should Kjaer not start, it seems Pioli favors the young Gabbia, who recently extended his contract until 2024. This is ahead of veteran Musacchio, who still may not be 100 percent after coming off of injury, or may have lost favor for who only knows what reason. The important thing is that the team will get to play.

Somber

After Milan’s disappointing draw and more disappointing performance against Fiorentina, and even more so after having so much time off, it is easy to be apprehensive about how the team will play against Genoa. Without the fans, Milan lose some of their power. Genoa also have something to play for: salvation. I never trust a team that has nothing to lose against a Milan team that is once again battling for consistency in management. Early reports say that Boban will actually be sacked today, which is never good for morale, least of all the day before a game. So despite our excitement to have something to watch again, for so many reasons, a silent stadium will likely be the backdrop for some somber football.


This post inspired by the music of Sarah McLachlan’s “I Will Remember You”


Serie A Week 26
Milan vs. Genoa
Sunday, March 8 • 15:00 CET (10am EDT)*
This match can be streamed LIVE on ESPN+ in the U.S.
*Adjusted time for Daylight Savings Time in the U.S.

Milan-Genoa Preview 2: Somber Football Milan-Genoa Preview 2: Somber Football Reviewed by Elaine on 12:32 AM Rating: 5
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