Coppa Italia Round of 16 • Milan-Torino Preview: Take the Bull By the Horns

After a demoralizing ending to a strong match on Sunday vs. Roma, Milan have no time for self-pity. The players have to shake it off and prepare themselves to compete in the Coppa Italia, a win-or-go-home scenario. Worse still, Milan face Torino, the opponent they froze up and played a horror show of a match on Halloween in October. With a couple of players added to the squad in training on Monday, perhaps there is a small injection of mentality along with them. Either way, it is time for Milan to take the bull by the horns.

Ready to roar

Torino arrive in the Round of 16 by virtue of defeating Citadella 4-0 in October. That was shortly before our own nightmarish match with them in Turin. On Sunday, they also dropped points in their 1-1 draw away to Salernitana, although they forced Salerno's new shot stopper Ochoa into seven saves. For that match, Jurić lined up: Vanja Milinković-Savić; Zima, Schuurs, Buongiorno; Lazaro, Lukić, Linetty, Vojvoda; Vlasić, Radonjić; and Sanabria. He will be missing our former loanee Pellegri, as well as Aina to injury, with Ilkhan's fitness still in question as of this writing.

Jurić will be tough to beat, but Milan will have the fans behind them

For Pioli's part, Messias returned to training on Monday. New signing Vásquez also joined the team and was training with the goalkeepers. Still on the injury list are: Ibrahimović, Maignan, Florenzi, Origi, Krunić, Ballo-Touré, Rebić, and Kjaer. That makes eight players out injured for this match. Don't worry, though. Because of a two match suspension he earned in the German Cup with Schalke back in 2021, Thiaw is actually suspended for this match. So we will have nine players out yet again. But this is Milan. We are sadly accustomed to a lengthy injury list.

This nightmare from October should fuel a better performance on Wednesday

Pioli will have multiple mental taboos to break for this match. The mentality that is damaged when you play every match with nine players injured, as well as the fear of injury that comes along with that. There is also facing a very strong team that you performed poorly against and actually lost to before the break, as well as the possibility of being eliminated from the Coppa Italia altogether. But the biggest one will be reminding this team how to play to the final whistle. With so many ghosts to shake off, it will be necessary for Pioli to inspire the team to just take the bull by the horns.

This post inspired by the music of the Cocteau Twin's "Cherry-Coloured Funk"

Our next match is 
Coppa Italia Round of 16
Milan vs. Torino
Sunday, January 11, 2023 • 21:00 CET (3pm EST)
This match can be streamed LIVE on Paramount+ in the U.S.
or can also be seen LIVE on CBS Sports in the U.S.

Coppa Italia Round of 16 • Milan-Torino Preview: Take the Bull By the Horns Coppa Italia Round of 16 • Milan-Torino Preview: Take the Bull By the Horns Reviewed by Elaine on 11:59 PM Rating: 5
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