Milan-Benevento: Desperation

Pippo Inzaghi returns to the San Siro Saturday, for the first time as the opponent. If fans were in the stadium, he would definitely get a warm welcome, he was always a fan favorite. But he is not coming back to be nostalgic. His side are fighting desperately to avoid relegation. Meanwhile, Milan are fighting desperately to gain back a top four spot, having been through so much this year and working so hard. It will be a match of desperation, and the team that wants it the most will bring home all three points. 

Two former Milanisti celebrating Pippo's best coach in Serie B award

Benevento sit on the wrong side of a three-way tie for the final relegation spot, with only five games to secure their safety. Inzaghi earned them promotion to Serie A last year by finishing 18 points clear of the second place team in Serie B. For that season, he was also awarded the Panchina d'argento (Silver bench) award as voted by his fellow coaches. It would be magical if he could keep Benevento in Serie A, but we can't afford to let him do it at our expense. 

Last weekend, Benevento lost 4-2 to Udinese. For that match, Pippo lined up Montipo; Glik, Barba, Caldirola; Depaoli, Dabo, Viola, Hetemaj, Improta; our old pal Lapadula, and Sau. His side also features the other Insigne. Inzaghi has some injury problems, with Sau, Moncini, Tuia, and Letizia all out, and Foulon in doubt for this match.

Maldini is trusting in this team to pull this off

Pioli will have almost everyone back, yes, even Ibrahimovic. The only player who will be missing is Daniel Maldini, who actually returned to training this week after a long absence. Pioli will have some big decisions to make regarding injury prevention, giving players playing time, and not sacrificing any quality or giving up three points. More importantly, he will need to instill the mentality of steel that helped us do so well this past year. For his part, Paolo Maldini spoke with the players on Thursday both as a group and individually, likely making sure they are aware of everything that is on the line in these last five games. 

This match could be ugly. Both teams are desperate to reach important spots on the table. But if Pioli can instill in these players the calm confidence and belief of steel that they exhibited all last year, then we have a chance at overcoming the team that has nothing to lose and everything to gain. A win would be a start to washing away the soul destroying back to back losses that were unthinkable just five months ago. Oh, and Pippo, we still love you, but you of all people will understand our need to return to the Champions League. It's time for desperation. 

This post inspired by the music of Siouxsie and the Banshees; "Spellbound"

Serie A Week 34
Milan vs. Benevento
Saturday, May 1 • 20:45 CET (2:45pm EDT)
This match can be streamed LIVE on ESPN+ in the U.S.

Milan-Benevento: Desperation Milan-Benevento: Desperation Reviewed by Elaine on 3:45 AM Rating: 5
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