Milan-Juventus Preview: When The Going Gets Tough

Milan are used to being dealt some serious levels of misfortune. However, they are also used to rising above it and conquering it with an incredible mentality, a mentality that won the Scudetto against all odds last season. However, after their 22 match league unbeaten streak was broken by Napoli ahead of the recent break, their mentality finally crumbled midweek against Chelsea in the Champions League after the second goal was conceded. Now Juventus are coming to the San Siro, and with so many important players still out, Milan face another tough test on Saturday. So what will happen this time when the going gets tough?

Let's hope the San Siro looks something like this on Saturday

Juventus has struggled this season with a record of three wins, four draws, and a loss in the league, and until this week, a lot of talk about Allegri's job being on the line. Allegri blamed the form on injuries, infamously saying "Try taking five starters away from Inter or Milan." Not only was he not paying attention to the last three seasons at Milan, but his words may very well have caused our current injury crisis, which happened after he said that. We all remember how Allegri excels at injuring his players, he specialized in it during his time at Milan. Gratefully, Pioli makes no excuses in spite of missing more than five starters on several occasions, and still won the Scudetto last season, too. 

To be fair, with Allegri having his starters coming back from injury, Juventus do seem to have turned a corner, just in time for us to face them. On Sunday, they dispatched Bologna 3-0, which was also down to a very poor performance by Bologna, but also perhaps partially due to being nauseated by Juve's hideous third kits. Then they defeated Maccabi Haifa 3-1 in the Champions League midweek as well, scoring more goals this week than they had in their previous five matches. 

Allegri tries to injure more Milan players by using his mind

For the midweek match, Allegri lined up Szczesny; Cuadrado, Bremer, Danilo, some guy called De Sciglio; McKennie, Paredes, Rabiot; Di Maria, Vlahović, and Kostić. Allegri is still missing Pogba, Kaio Jorge, and Chiesa, who have been out with long-term injuries, while that guy called De Sciglio was injured on Wednesday and will also be out. Di Maria is serving his second match of a two match ban, so will also miss this match. That's five players, and although not all starters, I guess they will be Allegri's scapegoat if things go poorly for him at the San Siro.

Pioli makes no excuses, although when asked about Allegri's comments again in his Press Conference for this match, he did say he wishes it was "only five" starters missing. The injury toll is weighing heavily on him, as well, particularly with so many players out for so long. He got some good news this week, as Theo Hernández returned to full training, and should be available on Saturday.

Pioli hopes to welcome Theo Hernández back Saturday

However, that still leaves seven players out for this one, four of them out until January. Thos players are Ibrahimović, Florenzi, Calabria, Saelemaekers. Maignan, Kjaer, and Messias are also out injured, but Pioli hopes to recover the three of them by the end of this month if not sooner. That leaves Pioli incredibly short-staffed for this one, with tired players from midweek travel, and another incredibly difficult and very important match coming up on Tuesday.

We can hope that Rebić will punish Juve like he usually does, or that any of our tired players will make a breakthrough and score against our hated rivals. At the very least, we can hope that our makeshift defense will hold up to Juve's new-found attack. Or that there are no new referee or VAR controversies after the sordid history of controversy in this matchup. 

Juve are one of Rebić's favorite targets... let's hope he can strike again

Most importantly, we can hope that Allegri will not injure any more of our players in this one. It will be a very tough match, undoubtedly, but Milan have a chance to reclaim their mentality with the boost of playing at home with their amazing fans. Hopefully, once again, they will prove that they are that team when the going gets tough. 

This post inspired by the music of The Prodigy's "Breathe"

Our next match is 
Serie A Week 9
Milan vs. Juventus
Saturday, October 8 • 18:00 CEST (12noon EDT)
This match can be streamed LIVE on Paramount+ in the U.S.

Milan-Juventus Preview: When The Going Gets Tough Milan-Juventus Preview: When The Going Gets Tough Reviewed by Elaine on 5:00 AM Rating: 5
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