Milan-Fiorentina Preview: No Time for Complacency

After a tough draw against Lille on Thursday in the Europa League, Milan host 15th place Fiorentina in the early evening game on Sunday. With no word yet on a COVID negative test for Pioli or his assistant Murelli, Daniele "Puffy Vest" Bonera will likely take charge of his third match as a coach. With Ibrahimovic out with injury, this young Milan face a side desperate for a win. Therefore, it is no time for complacency.

No time for complacency

Fiorentina fell from grace this season, and fell hard under Beppe "Baseball Cap" Iachini. So hard that he was sacked after just seven league games. American owner and lifetime Juventus fan Commisso brought back the beloved Cesare Prandelli, hoping the magic would follow, but his first match in charge was a 1-0  loss to Pippo's Benevento. Prandelli was even more unlucky in that former Milan favorite Bonaventura was a late scratch due to injury, and former France international and 2006 World Cup runner-up Ribery came off before the half injured as well.

Who is that guy with Cutrone?

Prandelli got his first win midweek in the Coppa Italia in a 1-0 win over Udinese, but it took extra time to even pull that off. For that match, he lined up Bartlomiej "The Beard" Dragowski, Milenkovic, Pezzella, Igor, Biraghi; Amrabat, Duncan; Kouame, Castrovilli, Ribery, and Vlahovic. Former Milan favorites Saponara and Cutrone were also subbed on in their Coppa Italia victory. Prandelli's only doubt as of this writing is Bonaventura, who could still feature, possibly as a sub, against the team whose heart he broke at the end of this past season. Cutrone won a penalty that wasn't when he faced the club who raised him in our last meeting in February. Having been notoriously pushed out of the club of his heart for a wad of cash, he will likely be waiting on the bench without mercy.

Jack of our Heartbreak

The heartbreaking ties between these two clubs extend to Milan's current coach, Stefano "The Turtleneck King" Pioli, who coached the Viola through the crushing loss of former Milan youth player and then captain of Fiorentina, Davide Astori. Unfortunately, Pioli tested positive for COVID-19 two weeks ago, as did his assistant a few days later, so barring any last minute changes in test results, we'll see the Puffy Vest again. Milan fans are delighted to have the legendary nice guy unexpectedly on the sidelines, but let's be honest, he does not inspire or sub anything like Pioli. This in spite of Pioli staying in touch via technology during trainings and even during the games.

Worse still, Milan will be missing Ibrahimovic and Leao to injury, a further blow to the mentality that has kept this team undefeated in Serie A and also at the top of the table this season. We saw the young players struggle without the leadership of both Pioli and Ibrahimovic against Lille on Thursday, so they will need to stay focused and remember that Ibrahimovic will scream at them be very disappointed if they cannot step up without him. 

First one to get COVID-19 gets to coach tomorrow?

Milan will have Saelemaekers available, despite a nasty sprained ankle on Sunday. It is difficult to say whether he will be risked from the start, or if the coach will go with Castillejo, who has been in poor form lately despite the goal on Thursday. Fans hope for another exciting young Hauge or Brahim appearance, but only time and possibly the Puffy Vest will tell. We have a former Fiorentina player and World Cup runner-up of our own in Rebic, whose skills and leadership will be crucial in this match.

Prandelli is a fantastic coach and a Fiorentina legend, this would not be a great time for us to have him inspire the beleaguered and underperforming Fiore team to a win. Milan have the weight of the top of the table on the shoulders of the youngest average squad in Europe. A squad made even younger without their Benjamin Button-like and now 12-time Swedish Golden Ball award winner, Ibrahimovic. Fiorentina will be desperate for the win, which is the most dangerous way to face a team, so there is no time for complacency.

This post inspired by the music of The Cure's "Pictures of You"

Serie A Week 9
Milan vs. Fiorentina
Sunday, November 29 • 15:00 CET (9am EST)
This match can be streamed LIVE on ESPN+ in the U.S.

Milan-Fiorentina Preview: No Time for Complacency Milan-Fiorentina Preview: No Time for Complacency Reviewed by Elaine on 5:17 AM Rating: 5
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