Milan-Fiorentina Preview: Forged in Viola, Gilded in Rossoneri

Sunday is our last game of this calendar year. After a disappointing goalless draw on Tuesday that left us eight points adrift of league leaders Napoli and saw both Juve and Inter gain points on us, only a win would be acceptable in this match. However, Fiorentina have finally found some consistency under Italiano this season, having won five straight matches in all competitions. So Pioli faces the team that helped make him the man and the coach that he is today, needing a win for the team that made him a champion. He was forged in Viola, and gilded in Rossoneri.

From crisis counselor to Champion.

Fiorentina come to the San Siro exactly at midtable, in tenth place, with five wins, four draws, and five losses in the league. While Italiano has not brought the results that Viola fans would desire this season, they did just qualified for the knockout stages of the Europa Conference League. On Wednesday, they defeated Salernitana 2-1. For that match, Italiano lined up: Terracciano; Dodô, Milenković, Igor, Biraghi; Amrabat, Mandragora; Ikoné, former beloved Milan player Bonaventura, Kouamé; and Cabral. Italiano will unfortunately be missing his goalkeeper/rapper Gollini/Gollorius to injury (who was NOT injured making this video, which he made while on loan to our upcoming Champions League Round of 16 opponents, Tottenham.) Also injured, but not masquerading as rappers in their spare time, are Castrovilli and Sottil.

I remember when he used to smile that way for us

Pioli's most memorable and successful coaching job prior to Milan was when he managed Fiorentina, which was tragic when he lost his captain, former Milan youth player Davide Astori, to an undiagnosed heart problem on gameday in 2018. Going through that crisis and carrying the team through the rest of that season made him both the man and the manager that he is today. Fiorentina fans still love and respect him for carrying the club on his big, broad shoulders through that terrible tragedy as well.

It was Milan, however, where he was finally able to get his mother off his back about never winning a trophy. Last season, as he led his young, underpaid, and oft-injured team in desperate need of reinforcements to win the Scudetto, he finally earned the title of Champion that he always deserved. He has united a previously cancerous fanbase, who now sing his anthem, "Pioli is on Fire" before every match to honor him.

He finally got his mother off of his back about not winning trophies.

This season, Pioli is being tested even more. With the sale of the club and the exit of a couple of players who had been at the core of the team for many years, Milan was very limited in their ability to reinforce in the summer, bringing in primarily very young players. Then injuries hit. He has been managing injuries for years now at Milan, and managing them amazingly well, but these were major, long-term injuries to key players that have impacted the team and its mentality. In fact, Pioli has had to deal with 105 absences in 20 matches so far. When you think about it, it is actually amazing that we have not dropped more points, and that we were still able to qualify for the Round of 16 in the Champions League.

For this match, he will still be missing the fundamental five: Ibrahimović, Florenzi, Maignan, Calabria, and Saelemaekers. It is unknown as of this writing whether or not Dest will be available, but as he was called up for the U.S. national team, he could be healthy. Additionally, there are reports that Messias could miss this match as well. If so, he would most likely be replaced by Krunić, or possibly De Ketelaere. Although there is some pressure for him to give more time to other summer signings, so perhaps a player like Adli could get a nod.

Thankfully, we will have these two back from suspension

There is the most pressure for Milan to take all three points in this one. It is the final match of the calendar year, which seems so bizarre to be typing at the beginning of November. Thanks, Qatar. But dropping more points would truly make things more difficult for our bid to hang onto the Scudetto this season and get that elusive second star. So as much as Pioli will always be tied to Fiorentina in his heart, and Milan fans will love Bonaventura for all he did for us, this one is business, it's not personal. We need the three points. Pioli may have been forged in Viola, but he was gilded in Rossoneri

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

Our next match is 
Serie A Week 15
Milan vs. Fiorentina
Sunday, November 13 • 18:00 CET (12noon EST)
This match can be streamed LIVE on Paramount+ in the U.S. 

Milan-Fiorentina Preview: Forged in Viola, Gilded in Rossoneri Milan-Fiorentina Preview: Forged in Viola, Gilded in Rossoneri Reviewed by Elaine on 11:50 PM Rating: 5
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