Bologna-Milan Preview: Getting Back on Course

After losing to Atalanta last week and then crashing out of the Coppa Italia to Inter on Tuesday, some Milan fans are starting to be concerned (that is code for freaking out.) According to @OptaPaolo, however, Milan with 43 points halfway through the season is the highest points total in the league since the 1950-51 season, when the 20 team format began. 

Ready to get back on course

Bologna come into this match in 13th place on the table on 20 points, with their recent form as a loss, a win, and a loss. That last loss was a 2-0 loss against Juventus last week. For that loss, Mihajlovic lined up Skorupski; De Silvestri, Danilo, Tomiyasu, Dijks; Svanberg, Schouten; Orsolini, Soriano, Vignato; and Barrow. He will be missing Santander, Medel, and Ravaglia. Bologna have had a number of unlucky results, and will be tougher to beat than it might seem on paper.

Pioli must get dizzy from reading the injury list every day, with so many players on and back off of the list from game to game or even day to day. We talked about injuries on the latest podcast, and since then there has been some very good news. The first and most recent good news is that Calhanoglu tested negative for COVID-19* and will be available for tomorrow's match. Bennacer is ready to make his comeback, and both Mandzukic and Tonali, who missed the Derby midweek, will be available as well. That means that actually, Pioli may only be missing Brahim Diaz, Gabbia, and Kjaer for this one.

We still love you, but we're going to need all 3 points, sorry

The short injury list gives me hope, even if not everyone is fully match fit. There is a lot of talk around Tomori starting as Kjaer's replacement, and that could go very well for us, as Kalulu is probably still not 100% after Hateboer's body slam into him last week. Bennacer may not start, but we will have Tonali, and I assume then Bennacer would get some minutes. Whether or not Calhanoglu starts will be up to how he looks in training, otherwise There have been a number of scenarios mentioned for the trequartista role tomorrow.

I am not excited about having to face a beloved ex-coach, especially one who is so fierce. In the last two years, he beat leukemia and COVID, whose to stop him from beating the team that treated him so badly? I am hoping that a near full strength Milan team will stop him. Just for 90 minutes, and then he will go back to being the most unlikely coach that I fell in love with again. This match is all about Milan returning to winning ways, keeping Inter at bay for another week, and showing the fans that we have nothing to fear. It's all about getting back on course.

This post inspired by the music of Garbage's "Only Happy When it Rains"

Serie A Week 20
Bologna vs. Milan
Saturday, January 30 • 15:00 CET (9am EST)
This match can be streamed on ESPN+ in the U.S.

*Shortly after this was posted, callups were announced and Calhanoglu will NOT travel with the team to Bologna, nor will he be available for this match.

Bologna-Milan Preview: Getting Back on Course Bologna-Milan Preview: Getting Back on Course Reviewed by Elaine on 8:05 AM Rating: 5
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