Atlético Madrid-AC Milan Preview: Integrity

Milan's last match against Atlético at the San Siro was a crime, and the referee and VAR assistant's suspensions were no consolation for some refereeing that everyone admitted tampered with the results of the group. Milan have been decimated by injuries yet again, and have basically just had the worst of luck on our return to the Champions League. Meanwhile, Atléti star Griezmann was supposed to be banned for this match after Griezmann was sent off when they hosted Liverpool because he put his studs in Fabinho's ear with an insanely dangerous high kick. But of course, Atlético won their appeal to shorten his ban from two matches to one, so he will play. Milan may have too many injuries and not enough luck, but at least we have our integrity.

What it looks like when you score an actual goal without help from the ref

Atlético are still in fourth place in La Liga, with a record of seven wins, five draws, and a loss. In our group, they are in third place with four points, one of which they stole from us. Their most recent match was a 1-0 win over Osasuna in Spain on Saturday. For that match, ex-Interista Simeone lined up: Oblak; Vrsaljko, Savić, Felipe, Hermoso; Koke, Correa, Llorente, Lemar, Carrasco; and Griezmann. Felipe, who scored the goal in that match, will be banned for this match due to his straight red in their away match to Liverpool. Simeone is also without João Félix and Kieran Trippier due to injury.

How did he win his appeal for that?

Milan are still in second place, tied with Napoli on points, but behind on goal differential. Having lost our first match in Serie A on Saturday, I would expect them to react with a good performance in this match. But even if they do, who knows what the referee will do? Our luck is so bad, I cannot even imagine the possibilities. 

Speaking of bad luck, as of this writing, Pioli is missing Maignan, Plizzari, Calabria, Tomori, and Rebić (Castillejo is not on our Champions League list.) While photos of Maignan training with his gloves again are exciting, and rumors that he wants to return as soon as Sunday, that does not help us in this match. Also, look for a player to stub his toe on a rock and break his foot before kickoff, because only missing five players to injury is not enough for Milan, and we always lose at least one player within the final 24-48 hours before a match.

Remember when Suarez stomped on Maignan's hand but didn't get punished?

Pioli has a horrible decision to make in goal. After Tatarusanu's epically horrifying performance on Saturday, does he keep the faith in him and trust that he will do better as a result? Or does he start Mirante, who is fit and waiting for a chance to prove himself? Mirante has not played with Milan competitively, but Tatarusanu's true colors were revealed on Saturday.

To win or not to win... that is the question. Winning increases our chances of being tossed into the Europa League fodder, which with our injuries, I have no desire to do. Continuing on in the Champions League would be amazing, but would UEFA's referees even let us do that if every star on the Champions League ball aligned for us? But as a fan, I can never want my team to lose, either.

Awful refereeing for the entire match

Going out of the competition would not be the end of the world, certainly we could focus on winning the league if that happened. But I am not suggesting we throw what is likely our penultimate game or not give it our 100% best effort. Because even if we've been maimed and robbed this season, at least we have our integrity.

P.S. Please no one tell Suarez that Thanksgiving is on Thursday here in the U.S. He might get hungry.

This match inspired by the music of Jane Siberry's "It Can't Rain All the Time"

Champions League Group Stage
Atlético Madrid vs. AC Milan
Wednesday, November 24 • 21:00 CET (3pm EST)
This match can be streamed LIVE on Paramount+ in the U.S. 

UEFA Youth League
Atlético Madrid U19 vs. AC Milan
Wednesday, November 24 • 15:00 CET (10am EST)
This match will NOT be streamed LIVE in the U.S.

Atlético Madrid-AC Milan Preview: Integrity Atlético Madrid-AC Milan Preview: Integrity Reviewed by Elaine on 12:27 AM Rating: 5
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