Sassuolo-Milan Preview: Return of the Kings

Just over three months ago,  Milan went to Sassuolo and won their first Scudetto in 11 years. Tuesday, they are headed back for the first time since that magical day, to play on the same field, change in the same dressing room, and hopefully win three points toward their next Scudetto. This match won't have the same intensity, nor the champagne showers, medals, or trophy at the end. But the players understand that every match is worth three points toward that destination. This one will still have special memories in that place where the sights, sounds, and even the smell of victory will likely come rushing back with ease to those who were crowned champions. On Tuesday, Sassuolo will host the return of the kings.

Kings, returning to their coronation site

Sassuolo come into this match with a draw, a win, and a loss, so have four points thus far in the season. Their draw came Saturday, a 2-2 draw with Spezia. For that match, Dionisi lined up Consigli; Toljan, Erlic, Ferrari, Rogerio; Frattesi, López, Mattheus Henrique; Berardi, Pinamonti, and Kyriakopoulos. He will be missing Muldur and Traoré, both out healing from fractures. Milan were able to keep Berardi, their personal Kryptonite, off the scoresheet in May. But if allowed, he may score on Milan just like the incredible goal he scored against Lecce, and that could seriously damage our chances of three points.

No, thank you.

Pioli will only be missing Ibrahimović and Krunić, but is rumored to rotate heavily, at least in attack, from the squad that beat Bologna on Saturday. Last year, our attack was depleted and ran themselves ragged. This year, Pioli has a lot more depth, with the opportunity to bring on experienced players like Rebić and Origi with completely fresh legs after Leão and Giroud both played 90 minutes on Saturday and scored. We just didn't have that luxury last year, especially with so many injuries. 

UPDATE: After this writing, it was reported that Rebić has back problems, and Origi has a slight inflammation that leaves him not quite 100%, so neither of them will be traveling to Reggio Emilia. (So much for luxury in attack.)

With the transfer window closing Wednesday, Milan are reinforcing their defense with the 21 year-old and 1.94m (6'4") tall Malick Thiaw from Schalke, who is taking medicals in Milano on Monday and expected to sign a five year contract. Rumors of a midfield reinforcement also coming in the form of a loan deal have yet to be confirmed as of this writing, but will likely be in place ahead of the match on Tuesday night. 

Milan reinforcing ahead of the close of the transfer window

That will bring the team full circle, with the Champions completing their team for this season as they head to the place where they were crowned. With our Champions League debut for this season only a week away now, and matches coming every few days, the team tied for the most clean sheets in Europe this calendar year also have the longest undefeated streak currently in Europe, and will be focused on keeping it that way. They know that consistency is what won last year, as well as taking each game one game at a time. So as nostalgic as this one may be, they actually cannot afford to let it go to their heads. In order to be crowned Champions again this year, the return of the Kings will need to be focused, vigilant, and decisive.

This post inspired by the music of Annie Lennox's "Into the West"

Our next match is 
Serie A Week 4
Sassuolo vs. Milan
Tuesday, August 30 • 18:30 CEST (12:30pm EDT)
This match can be streamed LIVE on Paramount+ in the U.S.
Sassuolo-Milan Preview: Return of the Kings Sassuolo-Milan Preview: Return of the Kings Reviewed by Elaine on 5:00 AM Rating: 5
Powered by Blogger.