Champions League Group Stage • AC Milan vs. Chelsea FC: Welcome To Hell

Last Wednesday's match in London was perhaps the most painful loss in Pioli's tenure since that loss to Atalanta that inspired the amazing winning mentality they have built ever since. However, Pioli learned from that loss, lessons he put into place to defeat Juventus. Having a healthy Theo Hernández back did not hurt, either. But the real advantage on Tuesday, when Chelsea come to Milano will be Milan's amazing fans. A San Siro packed with fans who start each match by singing "Pioli is on Fire," and do not stop singing or supporting their team until the final whistle. The match will be tough, it may not even be winnable, but Chelsea will not be made comfortable. Welcome to Hell.

This is not a little tea party. Welcome to Hell.

On Saturday in London, Chelsea welcomed Wolverhampton to Stamford Bridge, then gave them the same 3-0 treatment they gave Milan last week. Nearly 40,000 well-mannered fans clapped enthusiastically for each goal, with a few whistles thrown in for good measure. I believe I even saw some wild fist-bumps thrown into the air with abandon. I believe some of the supporters sang some songs, although it was difficult to make out the words because it was such a small percentage of the fans singing.

For that match, Potter lined up Kepa; Azpilicueta, Chalobah, Koulibaly, Cucurella; Loftus-Cheek, Jorginho; Gallagher, Mount, Pulisic; and Havertz. He will be without Fofana, who was injured last week after scoring against Milan, and is also likely to be missing N'Golo Kanté, who is struggling with a hamstring injury, as well as Ziyech, neither of whom trained on Monday.

Nice celebration, Havertz, but you won't have your well-mannered cheerleaders in Hell

Also on Saturday, Milan hosted Juventus at the San Siro, with a greeting ahead of the match from Florenzi and several hundred Milan supporters in New York on the screens, and a special preview of the new Warner Bros. movie Black Adam in the stadium at halftime. It was not just a game, it was an event. There were over 75,000 fans who presented an amazing stadium-wide coreo ahead of the match. They were Milan's 12th man, or whatever number after you subtract all of the injuries.

There were banners and flags and passionate singing and cheering throughout the match that was constant and deafening. Juve players were loudly whistled when they had possession. And when Milan scored, the entire stadium erupted, with fans rushing the multi-layered plexiglass and other barriers in their unbridled celebrations. The passion was palpable throughout the whole match, even through a television screen. The scene in London literally could have been your grandmother's tea party, while the scene at San Siro would have been your grandmother's hell.

Tomori is excited to welcome his ex-club to their own personal hell

Pioli still has a bit of an injury hell of his own, with seven players still out. Ibrahimović was not even included on the Champions League list, but the other six were included and when you subtract them from only 23 players, they do leave Milan very handicapped for these Group Stage matches. He got good news and bad news on Monday. The good news is that Messias will be available for this one. The bad news is that De Ketelaere has a muscle injury and will not be available for this match. The other missing players are Maignan, Calabria, Kjaer, Saelemaekers, and Florenzi. 

Having just one starter back since Wednesday, Theo Hernández, made such an impact on Saturday. Pioli was able to shore up the defense that struggled so much in London, and they even kept a clean sheet. Origi also got a few minutes against Juve, alluding to a possible substitute appearance on Tuesday as well, which would offer some experience and fresh legs late in the game if needed.

This infamous coreo tells you all you need to know

But my prediction for man of the match on Tuesday is the fans. Chelsea players are facing i Diavoli, and as the infamous coreo quoted, "When you are in Hell, only the Devil can save you." Chelsea may have a squad with more than double the wages of Milan's, have won the Champions League in 2021 with so many of their starters still together with the team, and have the momentum of a new coach. Milan may be beleaguered with injuries to many key players, but they will not be the same team that Chelsea faced in London. On Tuesday, they will have a packed San Siro with some of the best fans in the world. So Chelsea, welcome to Hell.

This post inspired by the music of AC/DC's "Highway to Hell"

Our next match is 
Champions League Group Stage
AC Milan vs. Chelsea FC
Tuesday, October 11 • 21:00 CEST (3pm EDT)
This match can be streamed LIVE on Paramount+ in the U.S.

UEFA Youth League
AC Milan Primavera vs. Chelsea FC U19 
Tuesday, October 11 • 14:30 CEST (8:30am EDT)
at the Puma House of Football, Milano 
This match can be streamed LIVE on the official Milan App

Champions League Group Stage • AC Milan vs. Chelsea FC: Welcome To Hell Champions League Group Stage • AC Milan vs. Chelsea FC: Welcome To Hell Reviewed by Elaine on 2:50 AM Rating: 5
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