Venezia-Milan Preview: Slow Boat to Hell

While the Italian government is concerned about the rising numbers of COVID-19, the Lega Serie A is not. They are forcing teams to play who have clearly been exposed to the virus, creating a super-spreader situation amongst talented athletes. Now they have agreed to reduce the number of fans in the stadium after this round until February 5th, which hurts the clubs, too. Milan are still decimated with 11 players out, five whom have tested positive for the virus and are self-isolating at home. Meanwhile, Venezia are only missing two players and have home advantage. Either Milan will be able to unite together as a team again and take advantage of our quality of players, or this match will be more like a slow boat to hell.

How the team rolls in Venice

This is the American-owned Venezia's first season back in Serie A, and our second meeting with them this season. Our first match was a 2-0 home win for Milan in September. They come into this match in 16th place, with their last league matches before the break being L-D-D-L, one of those draws being to Europa League-positioned Juventus. 

Gli Arancioneroverdi (the orange-black-greens) are coming off of an extended break, as their match away to Salernitana on Thursday was postponed due to the COVID-19 outbreak of the home team. Paolo Zanetti has used various formations this season based on opponents, including a 4-3-1-2, a 4-3-3, and a 4-3-2-1. He has already named the players available for this match. There will be two players out suspended for this match - one of his two American players, Tessman, as well as our own on-loan Caldara.

Did Caldara get suspended to help or hurt his chances of a Milan return?

Taking the boat to the stadium will be a once-again depleted Milan squad that Pioli named today following his prematch press conference. Of the 11 missing players, those who are injured are Kjaer, Plizzari, and Pellegri. The three players who are at AFCON are Kessié, Bennacer, and Ballo-Touré. There are five other players out, Tatarusanu being officially listed as COVID-19 positive, with Romagnoli, Tomori, Calabria, and Castillejo presumed to be the other four.

There is plenty of pressure on Milan to stay within the top four, and coming into a match in second place with so much competition amongst the top six teams increases that pressure. Despite the fact that Venezia are in the bottom five on the table, this will not be an easy match. Milan always seem to struggle with the lunchtime fixtures, too, maybe il Diavolo is simply nocturnal. Either Milan will give them hell, or we will drop points and it will be our slow boat to hell.

This post inspired by the music of Styx's "Come Sail Away"

Serie A Week 21
Venezia vs. Milan
Sunday, January 9 • 12:30 CET (6:30am EST)
This match can be streamed LIVE on Paramount Plus in the U.S.

Venezia-Milan Preview: Slow Boat to Hell Venezia-Milan Preview: Slow Boat to Hell Reviewed by Elaine on 1:30 PM Rating: 5
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