Salernitana-Milan Preview: The One Where We Face Pippo

Friday night Milan face bottom of the table Salernitana, who have won only one match thus far this season. That match was won after they replaced manager Paulo Sousa in October with someone Milan fans know very well: Pippo Inzaghi, the legendary Milan striker who began his coaching career at Milan. Since taking over, he has only managed to secure five points for the team from Campania, and fans are very unhappy with the results. They should be even more unhappy with the club's finances, which are quite poor since Danilo Iervolino took over from Claudio Lotito, despite relatively large investments from the young Italian billionaire. Just this week, it was announced that Walter Sabatini is coming back to the struggling club, just in time for the January transfer window. That, however, will not help them on Friday as Milan invade Salerno with a bit of confidence. Even if Milan fans will likely have a little ambivalent, as this is the one where we face Pippo.

Pippo, at the age of 50, is older than Salernitana's owner.

Salernitana's most recent foray into failure was Monday night in Bergamo, where our own De Ketelaere contributed with a goal and an assist as Atalanta destroyed them 4-1. (As a side note, only three Milan players have the equivalent or more goals and assists in all competitions as De Ketelaere has for Atalanta this season. Like Maldini said, you have to trust in young players.) For that match, Pippo lined up: Costil; Daniliuc, Gyömber, Pirola, Mazzocchi; Martegani, Coulibaly, Maggiore; Tchaouna, Candreva; and Boulaye Dia. 

Beware of snakes.

Maggiore is suspended for this match due to card accumulation, and their star goalkeeper, Ochoa, who infamously made nine saves against Milan on his debut in January, is out injured. Keep in mind, this is Pippo Inzaghi, not The Other Inzaghi, whose sad Inter side were knocked out of the Coppa Italia on Wednesday by Saelemaekers and Bologna, although Inter are the reigning champions. (Insert Schadenfreude here.)

Milan won convincingly against Monza on Sunday, but followed their three points forward, two injury setbacks pattern. And, also true to Milan form, the injuries were not just simple knocks. Okafor has a lesion on his hamstring that will likely keep him out until at least mid-January. And Pobega had to have surgery on Thursday in Finland to repair his left rectus femoris tendon, and similarly to Kalulu, he will also be out four months.

Heal up quickly, guys.

With those two, that brings this week's injury toll to eight, as of this writing. That list also includes Sportiello, Pellegrino, Caldara, Kalulu, Thiaw, and Musah. Having Kjaer back is a huge boost to the defense, particularly for his leadership qualities, and at the opposite end of the spectrum, Simić scored on his debut, and Bartesaghi has done well when given a chance as well. But we are still missing our starters, Thiaw and Kalulu, and that shows in our goals conceded column. Musah is another big loss, although Pioli confirmed that Bennacer will start, which is a boost to the midfield of another type. He has also called up the Primavera captain and midfielder, Zeroli, for extra depth, in addition to Camarda and Chaka Traorè for extra depth up front.

I don't think even Pippo would mind scenes like this.

Because this is an away fixture, Milan have to be extra careful not to slip up and drop points again. Pioli spoke about the importance of creating a run of form again, noting that this is a crucial match to make that happen. We will likely see a friendly reunion of two former teammates, Pippo and Ibrahimović, the latter of whom made his debut at Milanello as an employee of Redbird this week. So, while I wish our former passionate champion, Pippo Inzaghi, both a Merry Christmas and all the success in the world, I am still hoping for a Milan win in this one. In his heart, if he is honest, he probably is, too, even if he could really use the points for job stability. But he is Milan nel cuore, which only provides a little solace in this, the one where we face Pippo.

This post inspired by the music of Diana Krall's "I'll Be Home for Christmas"
(featuring the Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra)

Our next match is 
Serie A Week 17
Salernitana vs. Milan
Friday, December 22, 2023 • 20:45 CET (2:45pm EST)
In the U.S., you can use a VPN to access a Serie A provider elsewhere
For example, sign up for BeIN Sports in Australia or SuperSport in South Africa,
they both use the World Feed commentary for Serie A, which is fantastic
(*and they also do not sponsor Inter's kits)

Salernitana-Milan Preview: The One Where We Face Pippo Salernitana-Milan Preview: The One Where We Face Pippo Reviewed by Elaine on 7:00 PM Rating: 5
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