Milan-Torino Preview: A Moment

Milan are having a moment. Or at least that is what Ibrahimović calls it. He returned to full training this week and will reportedly be available for the bench for this match. However, this match is a very important "moment." It will be the third time Milan have faced Jurić's Torino side this year, after they knocked us out of the Coppa Italia last month. Being winless in seven matches and facing this particular team means a result in this match would give an added boost to mentality. Whereas another loss would damage mentality that much more. Not to mention that it is our last league match before the Champions League Round of 16. So this one may be more than a just "moment."

Dazed and confused.

There are eight points separating Milan and Torino on the table, and yet they sit only one place behind us in seventh place (that is how far Milan have fallen since we first met this season.) On Sunday, Torino took out Udinese 1-0 to bring them to 8 wins, 6 draws, and 7 losses. In that match, Jurić lined up: Vanja Milinković-Savić; Djidji, Schuurs, Buongiorno; Aina, Ricci, Linetty, Vojvoda; Miranchuk, Karamoh; and Sanabria. Jurić has been hit with a few injuries and will be without Zima, Ricci, Lazaro, and our former striker, Pellegri for this match.

That brings us to Pioli. Like everyone else in the Milanverse, we discussed his disastrous tactics in the Derby loss and his even more shocking claim that he would be sticking to them on the latest podcast. The general consensus seems to be, for everyone from casual fans to the legendary Arrigo Sacchi, that Pioli has lost his freaking mind. When they think he should lose his freaking job ranges from earlier this season, to now, to very shortly in the future, while a very few still put their faith in him.

Torino, and especially their 6'8" (2.03m) keeper, have had our number this year

All of that could change come Friday, if the team is lined up as poorly as he lined them up on Sunday. A big talking point has been his inexplicable benching of Leão, who is also in the midst of very important contract negotiations. His explanation was that he does not fit in this system, which is fair. But why, then is he using a system that benches his best player, one who was nominated for a Ballon d'Or this year? (I refer back to the 'lost his freaking mind' statement.)

Hopefully, Ibrahimović's return will have smacked some sense into him, literally or metaphorically, I really don't care. As such, Pioli will only be missing Maignan, Florenzi, Bennacer, and Tomori for this match. Well, and anyone else who gets injured opening the dressing room door or tying their boots between this writing and kickoff on Friday. Dest was not called up for the Derby, so it is uncertain as to whether or not he will be available for this one, either.

"What the hell is this 3-5-2?! Zero shots? Are you kidding me?!"

In a season of 38 league matches, plus Coppa Italia, Supercoppa, and Champions League matches, this one match definitely is but a moment. However, for Milan at this time against this team, it truly is a very important moment. Will Pioli rise to the occasion? Or will this be another nail in his coffin? Or will the return of Ibrahimović save his job for him? Can one individual even change this destructive spiral? Many have noted that it is the trust and teamwork that are missing, after all. I am actually afraid to watch, because I am not sure I want to know the answer. Besides, 90 minutes is a very, very long time to live in anxiety when you are simply waiting for a moment.

This post inspired by the music of LIVE's "Lightning Crashes"

Our next match is 
Serie A Week 22
Milan vs. Torino
Friday, February 10, 2023 • 20:45 CET (2:45pm EST)
This match can be streamed LIVE on Paramount+ in the U.S.

Milan-Torino Preview: A Moment Milan-Torino Preview: A Moment Reviewed by Elaine on 12:20 AM Rating: 5
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