Milan-Torino Preview: Moment of Truth

Milan's young squad is absolutely ravaged by injuries and COVID-19 positive cases right now. For this match alone, we are expected to be missing seven players, six of them are typically starters. Which is a shame, because as fans, we have been relishing this opportunity to face off against a former coach who destroyed the beginning of our season last year. Despite the fact that Torino are in 17th place on the table and Milan are in first, missing so many players could make this match the moment of truth.

"Just give me more time!"

How Giampaolo was ever hired by a club like Milan is actually a complicated story. After Gazidis blocked Ibrahimovic and Fabregas in January of 2019, Milan failed to qualify for Champions League by one tiny point. Gattuso and Milan parted ways mutually, with the former Milan legend citing his falling short of the goal of Champions League football as his reason for leaving. That meant we needed a new coach, but Milan had to wait until the transition of Leonardo to Maldini was complete, because Gazidis also caused him to resign. Additionally, Milan were awaiting UEFA's decisions. During that time, all of the other available coaches were snatched up by other teams. Giampaolo was chosen as the coach with the most potential from available choices.

Milan fired him at the beginning of October, while critics said that he just needed time. So after a ten month paid vacation, he was snatched up by Torino. Despite rumors of them wanting to sack him since that same exact point in their season, Torino have given him time. After 16 matches, they are in 17th place. He has won exactly two games, including a 3-0 win over Parma on Sunday. He was able to manage a late 1-1 draw to Verona midweek. For that match, he lined up Sirigu; Izzo, Lyanco, Bremer; Singo, Lukic, Rincon, Linetty, Murru; Gojak, and Belotti. Giampaolo will reportedly have a full squad for this match.

Pioli shows our place on the table

Pioli was brought in to clean up Giampaolo's mess, and he took us from tenth place then to our incredible first place now. Unfortunately, he has almost a complete starting lineup of missing players, including Ibrahimovic, Bennacer, Gabbia, and Saelemaekers, who are all injured. Additionally, Rebic and Krunic tested positive for COVID-19 on Wednesday, so are in quarantine. The only good news is that Tonali will be returning from suspension.

This match is difficult, not only following the painful loss midweek to the other side of Turin, but also because it feels like everything the boys have fought for and accomplished now stands in the balance and could erode away just because of injuries. Losing to Giampaolo's side would add insult to those injuries, and then we would have to play them again in the Coppa Italia on Tuesday. So it will be up to what is left of our beleaguered, injured side to maintain the incredible form we have come to expect in such a short time. In short, it could be a moment of truth.

This post inspired by the music of lovelytheband's "Broken"

Serie A Week 17
Milan vs. Torino
Saturday, January 9 • 20:45 CET (2:45pm EST)
This match can be streamed LIVE on ESPN+ in the U.S.

Milan-Torino Preview: Moment of Truth Milan-Torino Preview: Moment of Truth Reviewed by Elaine on 1:41 AM Rating: 5
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