Milan-Sassuolo Preview: Early Intervention

The performances in the last five matches for Milan have been beyond disappointing, and the results are proof of that. Looking at Sassuolo's season, however, sitting just above the relegation spots, you would think this match would bring confidence to Milan fans. It doesn't. Milan have often struggled with the lunchtime fixtures, and Sassuolo has long been a jinx for Milan, especially Berardi. Unless Milan can score early and defend well in the early match, this could be another disappointment. This one will be all about early intervention.

"Has anyone seen our mentality?"

Ever since Milan won the Scudetto at the Mapei stadium last May, Sassuolo have not been the same team. Our celebrations may have cursed them. With only four wins, five draws, and ten losses in the first half of the season, they are in 17th place in the league with only 17 points. Their last match was a 1-1 draw with Monza on Sunday. For that match, Dionisi lined up: Pegolo; Toljan, Erlic, Ferrari, Rogério; Frattesi, Obiang; Berardi, Traore, Laurienté; amd Defrel. Yes, that Berardi, who has scored more goals against Milan than any other Serie A club. Dionisi will be missing Muldur and possibly Pinamonti to injury. If we did in fact curse them, they will want to break that curse in our stadium on Sunday.

Milan's Kryptonite

Pioli had some good news this week. Ballo-Touré returned to training after his surgery, as did Calabria and Theo Hernández. We went from the prospect of only having 1.5 fullbacks to having all but one of our fullbacks available. However, Pioli is still missing Ibrahimović, Florenzi, Maignan, and Tomori to injury. Bennacer will also miss this one, as he is suspended due to card accumulation. Kjaer is most likely to deputize for the newly injured Tomori, while Pobega will likely fill in for the suspended Bennacer. There isn't any known substitution called up for Milan's mentality. Pioli insists it will return with a win, even though it seems like mentality is required for winning.

Welcome back, Ballo-Touré

With expectations low and mentality seemingly lower, Pioli is relying on hard work to pull the team out of this slump. Sassuolo are probably relying on Berardi's uncanny ability to score against Milan to help boost their standing on the table. Despite Milan's poor record with the lunchtime fixture, their only win thus far in 2023 came at the same time slot against lower table Salernitana. So maybe, just maybe... if they can capitalize on the power of the 70,000 fans expected for this one, Milan can change their fortune with an early intervention.

This post inspired by the music of Portishead's "Sour Times"

Our next match is 
Serie A Week 20
Milan vs. Sassuolo
Sunday, January 29, 2023 • 12:30 CET (6:30am EST)
This match can be streamed LIVE on Paramount+ in the U.S.

Milan-Sassuolo Preview: Early Intervention Milan-Sassuolo Preview: Early Intervention Reviewed by Elaine on 7:40 PM Rating: 5
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