Milan-Cremonese Preview: Midweek Hurdle

Once again, Milan are hosting a relegation-place team midweek. That means that Pioli will rotate too many players, and we will need more than just hope that the team will pass this test. To be fair, there is a chance that Saturday's 1-1 draw vs. Roma broke the curse, and we will see this team perform their best for these final six matches of the season. But the odds favor the mental struggle we have seen this entire calendar year, sponsored by a perfect storm from top to bottom at the club. Plus, we had a scoreless draw with Cremonese in November, even before the break. Let's just hope we can get past this midweek hurdle.

It's hurdle, not huddle, but feel free to circle up if it helps

Cremonese sit firmly in 19th position on the table, with very little hope of remaining in Serie A next season. Unless, of course, they were to win every match from here until the end of the season. Stranger things have been known to happen. They did make it to the Coppa Italia Semifinals, after all, knocking out Napoli to get there. On Sunday, they were only able to manage a 1-1 draw with Verona, despite taking the early lead and finishing on ten men.

For that match, Ballardini lined up the brilliant young goalkeeper Carnesecchi; Aiwu, Vásquez, Lochoshvilli, Valeri; Pickel, former temporary Milan player Souahilo Meïté, Castagnetti; Galdames; Ciofani, and Okereke. Quagliata, who had subbed on, sucker punched Verona's Dawidowicz and was sent off, so he will be suspended for our match. Also missing will be former Milan youth product Frank Tsadjout, who has two goals and an assist in Serie A for the Grigiorossi this season.

Carnesecchii had a breakout game in November... against Milan, of course.

While the team will have the San Siro fans backing them, Pioli also has a player suspended, as Tomori picked up a yellow card vs. Roma and will sit this one out due to card accumulation. That will give him time to heal, although his injury turned out to only be a nasty contusion, so he should be available on Saturday. We are down to two injuries, Pobega and Ibrahimović, although it is unlikely that either will be able to return this season.

Reports say that Pioli could change up to five players from Saturday's lineups, including a rare start for De Ketelaere. If that is true, I hope that it is a vote of confidence from Pioli because he thinks he is ready to start, not just caving to all of the media pressure to see the guy play or using him to rest someone else. We all want him to succeed, and I for one am tired of the media criticizing him every time they remember he is a part of our squad, let alone every time he gets five minutes of playing time.

Ready to start? Or being thrown in the fire?

There are six league matches left. Our draw on Saturday allowed Inter to catch up to us on the table, and as they have a better goal differential, we are now in fifth. So we need to not only win every match, but also score a lot of goals without conceding. (And hope for good measure that Juventus are punished by UEFA and/or Serie A before next season to open up one more Champions League spot at the top.) But first, Milan need to pass this midweek hurdle.

This post inspired by the music of Us3's "Cantaloop (Flip Fantasia)"

Our next match is 
Serie A Week 33
Milan vs. Cremonese
Wednesday, May 3, 2023 • 21:00 CEST (3pm EDT)
This match can be streamed on Paramount+ in the U.S.
or viewed on CBS Sports in the U.S.

Milan-Cremonese Preview: Midweek Hurdle Milan-Cremonese Preview: Midweek Hurdle Reviewed by Elaine on 4:31 PM Rating: 5
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