Udinese-Milan Preview: Hurdle

As much as Milan fans are flying high on what seemed to be an effortless performance on Thursday, this game could be our stumbling block. Sure, we are 23 games unbeaten, top of Serie A and to of our Europa League group, but the season is young, and so is our team. It is clear that we are tired, and Udinese will be hungry to be that team that broke our streak. Fans will be hungry, too, because the game is at lunchtime in Italy. So even if this seems like a match we should obviously win, this one could prove to be a hurdle.

Our former player could trip us up

Gotti's team beat Vicenza 3-1 midweek in the Coppa Italia on Wednesday, so will have only had one more day of rest than Milan. In the league, they lost 3-2 to Fiorentina on Sunday, so they currently sit 18th on the table with only three points, but as Pioli pointed out, they have been unlucky. 

For their midweek match, Gotti lined up Scuffet; Stryger-Larsen, Bonifazi, Samir, Zeegelaar; Makengo, de Paul, Forestieri; Pussetto, Nestorovski, and our old friend Deulofeu. The latter has been rather vociferous this week about how eager he is to meet Milan. Our break up was like Romeo and Juliet tragedy, he wanted to stay, we wanted him to stay, but Chelsea took him back from their loan and thus the love affair ended. Now he is on loan to Udinese from Watford, but even if Milan had wanted to sign him again this summer, there will be no love lost on Sunday.

Rested and ready to do battle

Udinese have some injury concerns. Wallace, Mandragora, and Jajalo are definitely out for this match. Coulibaly played as a sub on Wednesday, but may not be fully fit, and Nuytinck will be evaluated for match fitness ahead of the match to see if he is available. They are stronger than they look on paper, and will absolutely be desperate to double their points tally for the season with a win at home.

Milan are flying high, and got some fantastic news late yesterday: Gigio Donnarumma, Hauge, and Gabbia have all tested negative for COVID-19, and should be available to Pioli for this match. So we will only be missing Musacchio to injury, even if we have a lot of tired legs. However, with Pioli's amazing management of the squad, both Theo Hernandez and Calhanoglu got a full game's rest, and Kessie only played ten minutes on Thursday. This squad depth is really starting to pay dividends, just like Milan's mentality.

I think even Tatarusanu is relieved Gigio is back

Pioli wisely said that Milan need to keep our feet on the ground, and this is the perfect time to do that. In spite of building results and successes, the team need to stay focused and do what they have trained to do. No matter who the opponent, or where they are on the table. So long as they are able to stay grounded, we can overcome this hurdle.

This post inspired by the music of Us3's "Cantaloop (Flip Fantasia)"

Serie A Week 6
Udinese vs. Milan
Sunday, November 1 • 12:30 CET (6:30am EST)*
This match will be shown LIVE on ESPN Deportes USA and ESPNEWS in the U.S. 
It will NOT be streamed on ESPN+, but can be streamed on ESPN Deportes+ in the U.S.
*Daylight Savings Time ends in the U.S. Saturday night, remember to turn your clocks back 1 hour

Udinese-Milan Preview: Hurdle Udinese-Milan Preview: Hurdle Reviewed by Elaine on 11:30 PM Rating: 5
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