Coppa Italia • Inter vs. Milan Preview: He Who Must Not Be Named

This is the game we didn't need to play. We don't need to stay in all three competitions, especially with COVID-19 still running rampant and a series of injuries that would make Allegri blush. But now we are facing our evil cugini, complete with the fake hair-wearing, Eriksen-hating, and now allegedly referee-accosting He Who Must Not Be Named. Sure, he is probably facing a decent ban for his ginormous toddler tantrum on Saturday after being shown a red in the match against the mighty Udinese. But this is the Coppa Italia, so we will still have to see his ugly face and hear his super creepy voice. This went from the game we didn't need to play to the game we wish would go away.


Double trouble

Inter drew with lower table Udinese on Saturday, as teams who pay their coaches more than five times the next highest paid coach in the league will. With an embarrassment of riches on their roster and an even more embarrassing early exit completely out of Europe, He Who Must Not Be Named is clearly is not handling the stress very well. Which is understandable when you realize that there are serious financial problems at the club that are the actual embarrassment, with reports that they have not yet paid Real Madrid any of the €40 million they owe them for Hakimi, for example. Even if they have not properly choked yet on the pitch, a fast-paced investment project to sell shares of the club seems to actually be going better than Inter's season so far.


The Dark  Lord screameth

Before his very public meltdown on Saturday that would make a Real Housewives episode look like your grandmother's knitting class, He Who Must Not Be Named lined up Handanovic; Skriniar, de Vrij, Bastoni; Hakimi, Barella, Brozovic, Vidal, Young; Lukaku, and Martinez. As of this writing, the Dark Lord will only be missing D'Ambrosio, who is out with a long term injury. That is, of course, if none of their players are repossessed in the meantime for non-payment.

Pioli, on the other hand, who makes six times less than He Who Must Not Be Named, has the headache of a suspended Gigio Donnarumma, as well as Bennacer and Gabbia still out injured, and Calhanoglu testing positive for COVID-19. Kalulu suffered a blunt abdominal muscle trauma on Saturday, it is unclear as of this writing whether or not he will be available for this match. He will have Romagnoli and Saelemaekers back, both of whom served league suspensions on Saturday. And he will also have new arrivals Mandzukic, Tomori, and Meïté available (just as long as the latter does not play trequartista.)


Calabria breaks out his wand after the last Derby

As Boaz pointed out on the last podcast, it would have been much better for us to lose on penalties to Torino and not add this fixture to our already packed schedule. Especially with all of these players missing. Obviously, if we are able to defeat the Dark Lord and his Death Eaters and move to the semifinals, it will be delicious. However, if we lose any more players to injury or even if we lose, it will not have been worth it. Adding the additional fixtures of the Coppa semifinals and possibly a final to this Winter Champions side simply does not seem to be worth it. Worse still that we have to see He Who Must Not Be Named.


This post inspired by the music of John Williams' "Something Wicked This Way Comes"


Coppa Italia Quarterfinals
i Biscioni vs. Milan
Tuesday, January 26 • 20:45 CET (2:45pm EST)
This match can be streamed LIVE on ESPN+ in the U.S.


Coppa Italia • Inter vs. Milan Preview: He Who Must Not Be Named Coppa Italia • Inter vs. Milan Preview: He Who Must Not Be Named Reviewed by Elaine on 11:00 PM Rating: 5
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