Coppa Italia Round of 16 • Milan-Genoa Preview: Shevacoppa

Shevchenko's Genoa side earned their spot in the Coppa Italia Round of 16 with the first goal and only win for his side since he was brought in by U.S. owners 777 back in November. Rumors surrounding Sheva's future have been swirling as the beloved former Milan star faces his old club on Thursday. The  COVID-19 outbreak in Serie A features only 54 players now who are unavailable due current positive tests, with both teams are affected. Milan have players back, while Genoa had two more players test positive on Monday. Pioli said he will field his strongest starting 11 available. If Milan knock Genoa out, will we be the final nail in the coffin for Sheva's Genoa managerial career?

Will Sheva's trip to San Siro be his last for Genoa?

Milan defeated Genoa 3-0 at the Marassi at the beginning of December, adding to Sheva's lament. Their most recent match was in Serie A on Sunday, when they were defeated 1-0 by Spezia. For that match, Shevchenko lined up Sirigu; Østigård, Bani, Vásquez; Cambiaso, Sturaro, Badelj, Belegoni, Fares; Ekuban, and our former Destro. Cambiaso is injured, Serpe is confirmed to have tested positive for COVID-19, and Sheva will be missing the other two unnamed players as well. 

Destro struggled to score for Milan, but at Genoa, he can score even holding a water bottle

Pioli got good news in that Tomori and Tatarusanu have both tested negative and are back in training. Tomori should be available for Thursday's match, while Tatarusanu is in doubt still. Milan are still missing Kjaer and Pellegri to injury, and while Plizzari was back in training this week, it is not clear as of this writing if he will be available against Genoa. Ibrahimović will be suspended due to having been sent off in our Coppa Italia Derby last season when Lukaku threatened to kill him, amongst other things, on live television after Ibrahimović reminded him of an old rumor about practicing voodoo.

We also have our three players who are at AFCON, including Kessié, Bennacer, and Ballo-Touré, who also just tested positive for COVID-19. Tonali will be suspended on Monday vs. Spezia, but will be available for this one because it is a separate competition. 

Shades of 2003

The San Siro pitch  may be a factor, as well, as for the first time, there will be matches played on it in two consecutive days after the Supercoppa between Juventus and Inter on Wednesday. While it is always difficult to face a former Milan player, particularly one as loved as Sheva, Milan are in the hunt for trophies and will have to defeat his side in order to remain in this competition. Anything can happen in 90 minutes, but it will be heartbreaking either way, especially if this affects Shevchenko and Tassotti's jobs. So it is with mixed emotions that we head into the Shevacoppa.

This post inspired by the music of Soft Cell's "Tainted Love"

Coppa Italia Round of 16
Thursday, January 13 • 21:00 CET (3pm EST)
This match can be streamed LIVE on Paramount+ in the U.S.

Coppa Italia Round of 16 • Milan-Genoa Preview: Shevacoppa Coppa Italia Round of 16 • Milan-Genoa Preview: Shevacoppa Reviewed by Elaine on 12:05 PM Rating: 5
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