Lazio-Milan Preview: Now or Never

Every point counts from here on out. That is, if we are not sanctioned by Serie A and/or UEFA, prohibiting us from playing in the Champions League next season. If that is the case, then we may as well forfeit these matches and give our players an early vacation. Since we don't know yet what if any sanctions there will be, Milan need to go to the Olimpico and bring back all three points, in an effort to achieve the goal we have been trying to reach for years now. Every match is now or never.

Ferocious joy

Coach Simone Inzaghi has been out due to COVID-19 positivity, but is expected to return to the bench for our match on Monday, having returned to training on Saturday. While he was out, his team won two games against Verona and Benevento, but were destroyed 5-2 by Napoli midweek. For that match, his assistant, Farris, lined up Reina; Marusic, Acerbi, Radu; Lazzari, Milinkovic-Savic, Leiva, Alberto, Fares; Correa, and Immobile. 

Yes, that is former Milan goalkeeper Pepe Reina and former Milan defender and lifelong Milanista, Acerbi. The Other Inzaghi's squad also features disgruntled ex-Milan defender Mateo Musacchio, so any of our exes could hurt us (or possibly score an own goal for us?) Luis Alberto and Leiva were in doubt for this match, but returned to training on Saturday. Luiz Felipe and Escalante are doubtful due to injury.

Turns out, he's actually quite mobile... keep an eye on him

Milan beat Lazio 3-2 with a late goal from Theo Hernandez in December, but someone else will likely have to score the winner this time. Pioli should have Bennacer back from injury, but both Ibrahimovic and Theo Hernandez are unlikely to be match fit for Monday. Daniel Maldini will still be out as well. Also possibly missing could be the mentality in this match, having lost 2-1 to Sampdoria on Wednesday. Most likely out for this season is the trust in the owners and management of the club, who in one incredibly stupid move put the club at risk to miss out on Champions League after this squad have sweat blood for more than a year on the pitch to qualify. 

Pioli said midweek that the Super League was not a distraction for the players, but it is difficult to imagine that hearing about the 11 Serie A teams calling for sanctions is not affecting them. Nor is it helpful that UEFA have asked Milan specifically to choose between the Super League and the Champions League, and Milan are still choosing the Super League. Imagine all these players have been through, with COVID-19, an impacted schedule, injuries, and playing above expectations for so long, and hearing that all of that could be in vain? Because of the club they play for? Let alone the rift between Maldini and Gazidis. If they are not distracted by the possibilities, then they are distracted by contacting their agents to get them the hell out of this nightmare and into a non-Super team.

If we can recreate these scenes from our home match with Lazio, we'll be fine

I trust that Maldini and Pioli have done their best to reassure them and motivate them to reach the goal regardless of distractions. Lazio are a very tough opponent, but at least we are playing this match away, which seems to be an advantage for us this season. Only 90 minutes will tell if the guys have what it takes to overcome not only their enemy, but also their own club's poor choices. They know they need all three points to have a chance, so it's now or never.

This post inspired by the music of Romeo Void's "Never Say Never"

Serie A Week 33
Lazio vs. Milan
Monday, April 26 • 20:45 CEST (2:45pm EDT)
This match can be streamed LIVE on ESPN+ in the U.S.

Lazio-Milan Preview: Now or Never Lazio-Milan Preview: Now or Never Reviewed by Elaine on 11:30 PM Rating: 5
Powered by Blogger.