Milan-Cagliari Preview: Penultimate Challenge

After a week with two results beyond our wildest imaginations, Milan come back down to earth at the San Siro to face 15th place Cagliari. Being five points above 18th place Benevento, they need one more result to guarantee their Serie A safety. Meanwhile, Milan need one more win to guarantee a top four spot and Champions League next year. Like a chess match with massive implications for both sides, Milan face off on Sunday in the penultimate challenge.

Three points to make our goal.

Semplici replaced Di Francesco in February, and the results since then have been much better, he has nearly saved them from relegation. Their recent form is W-W-D-W-D, including a 1-1 draw with Napoli a couple of weeks ago. They played a 0-0 stalemate against Fiorentina midweek. For that match, Semplici lined up Cragno; Zappa, Ceppitelli, Godin, Lykogiannis; Marin, Duncan; Nandez, Nainggolan, Joao Pedro; and Pavoletti. Semplici will be missing Rog, Calabresi, and Walukiewicz to injury. Pereiro tested positive for COVID-19, so it is unknown at this time whether or not he will be available. Sottil is also in doubt due to an injury.

It didn't go well for Nainggolan last time

Pioli will be missing Ibrahimovic. Pioli mentioned that there is still a chance that the striker could make it back for the Atalanta match, but news reports say that after his MRI on Tuesday, he consulted a specialist here in the United States and risks surgery. Tonali had a training injury that kept him out on Tuesday, so he is also still in doubt for this match.

After stealing the souls of both Juventus and Torino this week, it would be easy for Milan to get cocky. But we are playing at home, and Cagliari will definitely not want to wait until the final match to ensure their safety. Hopefully, the steam roller that was Milan's mentality this past week will show up again. Not that I wish any ill on Cagliari, but we do not want to wait until the last match day and risk not qualifying for Champions League. And just because we won this match 2-0 in January, doesn't mean it will be the same this time, especially with a different manager. This is honestly a must win for both sides.

Let's make all of the hard work earlier in the season worth it

Like a good chess match, my biggest hope is that it is good football. Nice goals are a bonus, and a Milan win is ideal, but above all else, good football. I can always accept any result if the football is good. (But seriously, we need this three points.) Let's hope Milan are up for the penultimate challenge.

This post inspired by the music of Pat Benatar's "Love is a Battlefield"

Serie A Week 37
Milan vs. Torino
Sunday, May 16 • 20:45 CEST (2:45pm EDT)
This match can be streamed LIVE on ESPN+ in the U.S.

Milan-Cagliari Preview: Penultimate Challenge Milan-Cagliari Preview: Penultimate Challenge Reviewed by Elaine on 11:30 PM Rating: 5
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