Milan-Venezia Preview: If Looks Could Kill

Milan are hosting the newly promoted Venezia at the San Siro midweek, or what should be called Milan Fashion Week for football fans. Venezia's jerseys are legendary, gli Arancioneroverde have three of the strangest colors, yet time and time again, Kappa produce the best looking kits for them. Outside of their looks, however, they sit one point above Juventus and the relegation zone, so they will be desperate for a result. If looks could kill, Venezia would win the league. Unfortunately for them, they are going to have to win on the pitch.

Killer looks

Venezia were originally founded in 1907, and have been through many bankruptcies and reorganizations in the last 20 years. The audacious American Joe Tacopina had a vision to bring Venezia to the top of Serie A, even bringing in the Milan legend Pippo Inzaghi as a manager in 2016, following his managerial stint at Milan. With Super Pippo, Venezia won the Coppa Italia Serie C and also promotion to Serie B. Venezia missed promotion to Serie A by one goal in the promotion playoffs at the end of the 2017-18 season, after which Inzaghi left the club. 

A year later, in danger of relegation, Tacopina was ousted, and Duncan Niederauer, former CEO of the New York Stock Exchange, was brought in as club president to reorganize the club. Last year, with Paolo Zanetti hired to manage the team, Venezia were finally successful in earning promotion to Serie A through the Serie B promotion playoffs, marking only five years between playing in Serie D to being promoted to Serie A.

Pippo Inzaghi left his mark on the club

This season, Venezia are 1-0-3, with their singular 2-1 win coming vs. Empoli two weeks ago featuring this fantastic Okereke goal. Last week, they were down a goal, then got an equalizer vs. Spezia, only to lose 2-1 by conceding a goal in the dying moments of stoppage time. For that match, Zanetti lined up: Mäenpää; Mazzocchi, the on-loan-from-Milan Caldara, Ceccaroni, Molinaro; Crnigoj, Vacca, Busio, Johnsen; Okereke, and Thomas Henry. For this match, Zanetti will be missing Lezzerini, Fiordilino, Sigurdsson, and Haps due to injuries.

Venezia's squad has players from unusual destinations, including two Americans in Busio and Tessman, a Finnish goalkeeper and midfielder in Mäenpää and Ala-Mylmäkki, a defender called Haps from Suriname, an Israeli midfielder in Peretz, as well as two Icelandic players in Sigorosson and Bjarkason, and the Welsh defender Ampadu on loan from Chelsea. Yet amongst some of these lesser-known players is some raw talent.

Can Rebić do it again, or will he be rested?

Pioli has some injury headaches. Again. (Or is that still? I never know.) He will be missing Ibrahimović, Giroud, Krunić, Kjaer, Bakayoko, and Calabria to injury. That is, if no one else gets injured packing their boots, eating dinner, or getting on the bus to San Siro. We talked about injuries and what is being done about them on the latest podcast, but for this match, none of that helps with our injury list. Pioli will need to initiate some squad rotation after playing midweek last week in the Champions League and needing to have fresh legs for Saturday's and Tuesday's matches as well. 

Milan have shown fantastic mentality and determination, no matter who is out or what happens in a match. Rebić has stepped up massively in the absence of our strikers with two goals and two assists in three matches. However, Venezia's results should not deceive. They have some very talented strikers, and are exactly the kind of team that could catch Milan off guard. Let's just hope that Milan stay focused and are able to earn all three points at the San Siro, because if looks could kill... they probably will.

This post inspired by the music of Peter Gabriel's "Games Without Frontiers"

Serie A Week 5
Milan vs. Venezia
Wednesday, September 22 • 20:45 CEST (2:45 EDT)
This match can be streamed LIVE on Paramount+ in the U.S.

Milan-Venezia Preview: If Looks Could Kill Milan-Venezia Preview: If Looks Could Kill Reviewed by Elaine on 12:40 AM Rating: 5
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