Spezia-Milan Preview: Slipping Away?

True to form, Milan have been struck by the injury plague at the most crucial point of the season. Now we are playing away to Spezia, and Pioli has six injured players and one player suspended with only four league matches left to qualify for a Champions League spot for next year. Then there is the actual semifinal match on Tuesday that will be on the back of everyone's mind. With Milan's poor away record, as well as their recent struggles against teams in the relegation zone, will this match see qualification slipping away?

For Bennacer... don't let his Champions League dreams for next year slip away.

Semplici's Spezia find themselves in a tight relegation race, currently in 18th place with only 27 points. After a disappointing 2-0 loss away to 19th place Cremonese last week that put the home side within three points of them, Spezia are absolutely desperate for a win. They have also had an entire week to prepare for this one. 

No Daniel, no party for Spezia?

For the Cremonese match, Semplici lined up: Dragowski; Amian, Wisniewski, Ampadu, Nikolaou; Ekdal, Esposito, Bourabia; Agudelo, Shomurodov, and Gyasi. Semplici also has seven players missing, including Agudelo, who is suspended due to card accumulation. Milan fans will be relieved that Daniel Maldini will not be scoring against us again, as he is unfortunately injured. Also injured are Holm, Simone Bastoni, Sala, Julius Beck, and João Moutinho. 

Pioli went from having two players injured to missing seven players in this match. Thiaw is suspended for card accumulation. Ibrahimović has been out, and Florenzi had that muscle issue last week as well. But then Leão was injured vs. Lazio. And Bennacer went off against Inter, and now needs surgery on his knee. Then we learned that Messias has a muscle issue and Krunić has a knee injury. That puts us at seven players out for this match (and serious concerns for Tuesday, as well.) Pioli has been making too many changes to his starting lineups, but this time, his hand will be forced by missing players.

Please keep your shirt on this time, Oli.

As Pioli mentioned in his prematch Press Conference, this match is a must win. Cardinale was in town this week, and he even said that although he wanted to win the semifinal, qualifying for next year was the most important target. If Giroud can give us the win again, let's hope he keeps his shirt on this time, because we cannot afford any more missing players for the last three rounds. But that is assuming we can even manage the win. Even against a decimated 18th place team, I still worry about this team's ability to get all three points. After the 2023 that this team has had, I worry our Champions League hopes for next year could be slipping away.

This post inspired by the music of The Cranberries' "Salvation"

Our next match is 
Serie A Week 35
Spezia vs. Milan
Saturday, May 13, 2023 • 18:00 CEST (12noon EDT)
This match can be streamed LIVE on Paramount+

Spezia-Milan Preview: Slipping Away? Spezia-Milan Preview: Slipping Away? Reviewed by Elaine on 2:05 PM Rating: 5
Powered by Blogger.