Genoa-Milan Preview: Return of the King

Milan's mentality saw them hold out for a 2-2 draw on Sunday to Parma, but that match also saw two more important players incur injuries. Milan are now the only team in Europe to remain unbeaten in their league since the return of football this summer. While it almost feels too good to be true, it also feels deserved and truly amazing – a streak we don't want to break. Yet here we are, plagued with injuries, weary from playing in the Europa League, and heading to the Marassi to face a relegation zone team, the most dangerous of circumstances. Gratefully, Ibrahimovic is set to make his glorious return. And while he may not be 100% match fit or play all 90 minutes, it is definitely going to feel like the Return of the King.

Sorry, Viggo, but Ibrahimovic wears it better

Genoa sit only one point of bottom of the table Crotone, having won exactly one match this season, against Crotone. Sunday, they looked to be keeping up with Juventus by equalizing within five minutes of Juventus' opening goal, but two Ronaldo penalties saw them drop all three points again in a 3-1 loss to the penalty specialists. For that match, Maran lined up Perin; Goldaniga, Bani, Masiello, Pellegrini; Lerager, Radovanovic, Rovella, Sturaro; Scamacca, and Pjaca. Maran's beleaguered side is also filled with injuries, as he is missing Zappacosta, Marchetti, Biraschi, Cassata, Parigini, and our old pal Cristian Zapata for this match.

That doesn't mean they won't do everything in their power to take advantage of Milan's latest injuries and be the team that breaks our undefeated streak. Or at least picks up a desperately needed three points. Gabbia has a knee ligament strain that will keep him out at least a month. Bennacer has a muscle lesion on his right thigh, and will be re-evaluated after ten days' time. Kjaer is fighting to return for this match. As of this writing, it is unknown if he will make it. But Ibrahimovic was in full training on Monday with the team and should make his triumphant return in Genoa on Wednesday night. Saelemaekers is also likely to be available.

 Genoa attempting to construct a way to defend against Ibrahimovic

Milan have held on, sometimes with only minutes of stoppage time left, to maintain our position at the top of the table. Now with only three points separating us from Conte's fake hair, a return of our King, our spirit animal, and the provider of PS5s for all of his Milan children has never been so welcome before. Despite their own injuries and awful record this year, we know Genoa will not make it easy for us. Perhaps only a new ref, VAR, and the crossbar can stop us. Gratefully, we should be able to count on the Return of the King.

Update: After this preview was written, Ibrahimovic trained separately. He and Kjaer will both miss this match after all. The Return of the King will have to wait.

This match inspired by the music of Howard Shore's The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King Soundtrack

Serie A Week 12
Genoa vs. Milan
Wednesday, December 16 • 20:45 CET (2:45 EST)
This match can be streamed LIVE on ESPN+ in the U.S.

Genoa-Milan Preview: Return of the King Genoa-Milan Preview: Return of the King Reviewed by Elaine on 12:41 AM Rating: 5
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