Lazio-Milan Preview: Reaction

After whatever happened on Wednesday, Milan will need a strong reaction on Saturday. They face Lazio, who are very realistically still contending for the Scudetto. After a painful eight-year reign of terror by Juventus, anyone else winning the league would be refreshing, even if it's the club with some of the most horrible fans in all of football. But not at Milan’s expense. For Saturday, Milan need to worry about ourselves, and creating a reaction.

No one gets a reaction better than Ibrahimovic

Lazio took all three points from Torino in a 2-1 victory on Tuesday, despite the other Inzaghi being suspended for that match. His assistant coach, Farris, took the helm, and kept the Lazio narrative alive of complaining about a ref call postmatch. That ref call was a yellow card on Immobile for a handball, which sees him suspended for our match. First of all, if he wants to complain about that call, I’ve got a long reel of calls that have not gone Milan’s way in this season alone. But why not question why Immobile got the other four cards? It’s not like it was a straight red. Why not be original and maybe even be sporting for once?

Lazio's lineups against Torino were Strakosha; Patric, former Milan defender Acerbi, Radu; Lazzari, Milinkovic-Savic, Parolo, Luis Alberto, Jony; Immobile, and Caicedo. Both Immobile and Caicedo are suspended for this match. Immobile is the current goal scoring leader in Serie A with 29 goals in 29 games, so Milan certainly won’t be missing him, but Lazio absolutely will.

Lazio's loss can be Milan's gain

The other Inzaghi is also missing Felipe, Leiva, and Lulic to long-term injuries, so he will definitely be missing a lot of quality. It is also likely that he may have to change formations based on missing players. But Lazio and specifically Simone Inzaghi have been building a team that is more than just individuals, there is a strong mentality and identity there as well.

Pioli will be missing Duarte and Musacchio, but also Castillejo, as we await further tests on his injury that saw him subbed very early in the match on Wednesday. Theo Hernandez also has a heavy bruise on his shin, but is expected to be available for this match. It is hoped that we will see Kjaer return to the starting lineup, as he was seemingly rested against SPAL. Saelemaekers should be able to deputize well enough for Castillejo, he has impressed in the last couple of games.

Milan's newest official player will likely start

Whether or not Ibrahimovic is ready to start remains to be seen, but he absolutely changed the team when he was subbed on against SPAL, we have missed his presence. I would expect Paquetá to start ahead of Bonaventura again, and perhaps Conti ahead of Calabria, it is difficult to know. These matches are coming so hard and fast that rotation is necessary to keep players alive and healthy, especially with the schedule we have ahead of us.

Has Kessié ever even played at the Olimpico without being abused?

As Rui and I discussed on the podcast this week, the one plus to playing without fans is that the politics, racism, and violence are also not at the games. That is particularly advantageous traveling to the Olimpico, allowing the Lazio fans who are not horrible to be able to support their team without shame for once, as well. Milan can be grateful for the mercies of Lazio being without Immobile and Caicedo, and without the cauldron of hate we normally face at the Olimpico. But it is still up to Milan to forget about the Scudetto race and focus only on our own European dreams. For that, Milan will need to provide a reaction.

This post inspired by The Prodigy’s “Firestarter”

Serie A Week 30
Lazio vs. Milan
Saturday, July 4 • 21:45 CEST (3:45pm EDT)
This match can be streamed LIVE on ESPN+ in the U.S.

Lazio-Milan Preview: Reaction Lazio-Milan Preview: Reaction Reviewed by Elaine on 5:00 AM Rating: 5
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