Milan-Torino Preview: Holy Cow

Milan host Torino on Tuesday, as the injuries continue to pile up and the fixtures keep coming thick and fast. Pioli is not looking for excuses, but let's be realistic: the injuries have clearly affected not only Milan's quality, but our mentality as well. Torino's season leaves much to be desired, but certainly could be worse. They have a few injuries of their own, and despite having one more day's rest, having played on Friday, will still have tired legs, I'm sure. Ready or not, this one is coming at us fast and furious. Holy cow.

No rest for the weary

Despite Milan's starting eleven celebrating Halloween early with a gruesome injury list, Torino come to the San Siro as complete underdogs. Having only won four matches of 35 against Milan, we are not a team they want to see on their schedule. Add to that the utter humiliation they suffered at Milan's hands in Turin last May in a 7-0 loss, anything would be an improvement. Yet this season actually is an improvement for them, as having upgraded managers in Ivan Jurić, they currently sit 12th on the table with 11 points. Compare that to the same point last season, under Giampaolo's reign of terror, when they were in 18th and had only six points, they should be feeling much better about themselves.

Jurić did really well at Verona the past two years, and while he hasn't exactly been magical for il Toro thus far, they are showing improvement. Their most recent match was a 3-2 display against Genoa on Friday in which they held out and took all three points. For that match, he lined up Vanja Milinković-Savić; Djidji, Bremer, Buongiorno; Singo, Lukić, the Milan-owned Pobega, Ansaldi; Linetty, Brekalo; and Sanabria. 

Like finding out the ex you broke up with is doing better without you

Unfortunately, Ansaldi suffered a muscle injury in that match, and will not be available. Also missing will be Mandragora, who is recovering from injury. Verdi and Pjaca are likely to miss with injuries as well, and Praet may not be fit to start. One thing is certain, having been sent on loan the past two summers after being told he would be at Milan, Pobega will have no hesitation making his mark against his parent club tomorrow night. He has been impressive both at Spezia last season and this year for Torino, with two goals already in this campaign.

Milan's injury list just shuffles around, as we get players back, we lose another or two or three. The good news is that Theo Hernández is back after testing negative for COVID, and Kessié has recovered from his flu. Pioli said both would be available, but don't expect either of them to play 90 minutes. The new man down is Castillejo, who suffered a muscle injury on Saturday. He joins the damaged list of Plizzari, Maignan, Florenzi, Brahim Díaz, and Messias, with Rebić still doubtful for tomorrow.

How we all feel about their return

Our last two league matches against Verona and Bologna proved that there are no easy games, and Torino will be the same. What was disconcerting in both of those matches was the goals we conceded. It's as if we don't trust ourselves without Maignan. I'm not even convinced that Tatarusanu trusts himself, but it's not exactly as though he was responsible for conceding, either. With Mirante not fit yet, our only other choice would be to put faith in the young Jungdal, which rarely ever happens in football. Hopefully, having important players like Theo Hernández and Kessié back, even if only on the bench, will help us to stay focused and play our game again. There was a mention of Ibrahimović and Giroud playing together in Pioli's press conference, which gives us different qualities, but he was quick to point out that neither of them are 100% yet, either. 

Certainly, Torino are a team to be respected, but Milan truly need to focus on staying mentally strong. Also, please just one game without new injuries... would that really be too much to ask? Torino have a day's extra rest and the advantage of not playing midweek last week, so Milan will really need to be both mentally and physically prepared to face il Toro. Holy cow.

This post inspired by the music of Sonic Youth's "Bull in the Heather"

Serie A Week 10
Milan vs. Torino
Tuesday, October 26 • 20:45 CEST (2:45pm EDT)
This match can be streamed LIVE on Paramount+ in the U.S.

Milan-Torino Preview: Holy Cow Milan-Torino Preview: Holy Cow Reviewed by Elaine on 6:47 AM Rating: 5
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