Milan-Salernitana Preview: For Kjaer

Milan are hosting Salernitana on Saturday, who are dead last on the table with only eight points after 15 rounds. Maybe it's because their logo is a stylized seahorse, and seahorses are literally the slowest swimmers of all fish species. (Next time, maybe think twice about choosing a mascot?) But whatever you do or do not know about Salernitana the club, the manager and players, Milan are more focused on a devastating new injury. Kjaer was injured in the opening minutes on Wednesday, and had knee surgery Friday to repair his anterior cruciate ligament and reinsert the medial collateral ligament in his left knee. The prognosis is that he will be out for six months, effectively ending his season. So I feel badly for Salernitana, because this Milan team will likely be very motivated to win this one big for Kjaer.

He will be sorely missed

Salernitana have been in Serie A twice before, in 1947-48 and also in 1998-99. They have been an Italian club since 1919, as their name mentions, having had a couple of name changes, including to the current one following a bankruptcy in 2005 and then some other issues in 2011. That was the year that Lotito's brother-in-law took over the club, which leads us to their current situation. Lazio's owner, Lotito, also owned US Salernitana 1919 when they were promoted to Serie A last year by virtue of placing second in Serie B. The FIGC prohibits any owner having ownership of two clubs simultaneously, so in the final hours of the deadline to register the club for Serie A, Lotito was able to put Salernitana into a trust and up for sale. The problem is now that there have been no offers to buy the club, and the deadline for the sale by the trust is coming up very soon. Don't worry, though. Lotito is one of Serie A's Old Boys' Club, so nothing will happen.

Escaping justice is the name of the game for both Ribéry and Lazio's Lotito

Speaking of nothing happening due to criminal activities, US Salernitana 1919 features one Franck Ribéry, the football star who, much like Berlusconi and other members of the Old Boys' Club, got away with having sex with an underage prostitute. He was probably Lotito's dream signing for that alone, but also for the free signing part. The 38 year-old has 2 assists in eight starts and one substitution this season, but also plenty of injuries and fitness issues. Colantuono's Salernitana have two wins, two draws, and 11 losses this season, the most recent on Tuesday, losing 2-0 to midtable Juventus. They did display some pretty great coreografia, though.

Salernitana's coreo is excellent

For that match, Colantuono lined up a 5-3-2 formation consisting of Belec; Kechrida, Veseli, Gyömber, Galiolo, Ranieri; Lassana Coulibaly, Capezzi, Zortea; Bonazzoli, and Simy. Last season, Simy played for Crotone, alongside Messias, and he scored 20 goals in Serie A, yet the club were still relegated. This season, he is on loan to the Granata with obligation to buy, but only has one goal thus far. For Saturday's afternoon match, Colantuono will be missing Ruggeri, Strandberg, Mamadou Coulibaly, and Gondo to injury.

As if Pioli and Milan have not seen enough heartache and injury this season already, our newest and worst injury thus far is Kjaer's season-ending injury that occurred in the opening minutes of our match in Genoa on Wednesday. On Monday he was celebrating the pinnacle of his career at the Ballon d'Or awards, and on Thursday got the news that he was done for the season after being suffering a bad knee injury on Wednesday. Many have noted the tragic irony of Eriksen returning to training on Thursday after Kjaer had heroically helped to save his life this summer, with Kjaer's misfortune taking his place and actually expected to be out longer.

Heal up soon, Viking. We are waiting for your return.

Kjaer is our fourth player requiring surgery so far this season, two of which were goalkeepers. Such bizarre and unlucky injuries. While Bennacer is called up for this match after missing his birthday match with a bizarre condition called Labyrinthitis (google it,) Pioli still has six players out injured: Kjaer, Giroud, Rebic, Plizzari, Castillejo, and Calabria. Maldini had said before the match on Wednesday that Milan were not going to make any signings in the mercato, but Milan's horrible luck with injury now dictates that we will need to add another defender at least for the rest of the season.

Pioli said in his prematch press conference on Friday that they were not even thinking about the Liverpool match on Tuesday, and I'm sure they are not. We are all trying to avoid thinking about playing that match without Kjaer. Or this match, or all of the matches, for that matter. He is a leader on and off the pitch, and his defending has been spectacular since signing for Milan. He has been one of the pillars of our success in returning to winning ways. So we need to win this one for The Viking. This one is for Kjaer.

This post inspired by the music of The Beatles "In My Life"

Serie A Week 16
Milan vs. Salernitana
Saturday, December 4 • 15:00 CET (9am EST)
This match can be streamed LIVE on Paramount+ in the U.S.
and also on CBS Sports Network

Milan-Salernitana Preview: For Kjaer Milan-Salernitana Preview: For Kjaer Reviewed by Elaine on 9:00 PM Rating: 5
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