Bologna-Milan Preview: Back on Track

Milan are back on the road again on Saturday as we travel to face Bologna. After a discouraging display midweek vs. Porto and a more discouraging result, meeting up with our former manager Mihajlović will not be a friendly family reunion. However, with injuries, Milan have no guarantees against a side that is sitting in eighth place on the table. Bologna have had some discouraging results, but also some surprise wins. Milan will need to make sure that our result with them is not one of the latter as we look to keep our undefeated league run going and get back on track.

Looking to keep the unbeaten streak alive

Mihajlović was heavily criticized for some of the performances and results this season, like losing 6-1 to Inter and 4-2 to Empoli. Yet looking at the table, they are not doing as poorly as his critics would imply. They have three wins, three draws, and only those two losses. Their most recent win was a surprise 3-0 home win over Lazio ahead of the break. Last weekend, they drew against Udinese, who were on ten men for the final 50 minutes, conceding a late equalizer from the Friuliani. Having had all week to recover, Bologna will certainly be looking to take advantage of Milan's injury situation.

For their draw last week, Mihajlović lined up Skorupski; Soumaoro, Binks, Theate; De Silvestri, Dominguez, Svanberg, Hickey; Soriano, Barrow; and Arnautović. He will be missing Bonifazi and Kingsley to long-term injuries, and Dominguez is in doubt for this match with a muscle issue. The club signed midfielder Nicholas Viola as a free agent this week, but he will not be available for this match. While I gained a lot of respect for Mihajlović when he managed Milan, and a lot of empathy when he battled Leukemia, I am unfriending him until after this match.

Sorry, but I'll like you again after the match, even though I've never liked your fashion

Our manager celebrated a birthday this week, and this will be Pioli's 100th match on the Milan bench. But his storyline is once again forced into listing the wounded and half-dead. Plizzari, Florenzi, and Maignan are recovering from surgery. Theo Hernández and Brahim Díaz still tested positive for COVID on Thursday. Messias has still not recovered from his muscle injury, and Rebić has not recovered from his ankle injury a week ago. Newly added to the list, Kessié has been battling the flu all week, so will not be available, and now, apparently Pellegri is injured as well. 

If reports are to be believed, Ibrahimović is fit enough to play from the start, so Pioli will have his choice between he and Giroud to start up front (or if he is living on the edge, both.) Mirante is reported to get his first callup, which is comforting, in case Tatarusanu and Jungdal both receive injuries requiring surgery like their fellow keepers. Both Castillejo and Conti will be available for depth. There has been a lot of discussion about which side Calabria will play on and whether or not Kalulu or Ballo-Touré will play on the other. Frankly, I'm just grateful that we have more than 11 players to field at this point.

Pioli celebrates having 11 players healthy enough to field

The team will need to put Tuesday's performance behind them and go to Bologna to win. But this one will not be easy, and Mihajlović will have zero problems taking three points from the team he once managed as well as from his good friend Ibrahimović. Expect hugs and smiles ahead of the match, with both sides fighting during the match to get back on track.

This post inspired by the music of Billie Eilish's "Bad Guy"

Serie A Week 9
Bologna vs. Milan
Saturday, October 23 • 20:45 CEST (2:45pm EDT)
This match can be streamed LIVE on Paramount+ in the U.S.

Bologna-Milan Preview: Back on Track Bologna-Milan Preview: Back on Track Reviewed by Elaine on 7:25 AM Rating: 5
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