Empoli-Milan Preview: One for the Road

Milan have not won an away match in the league since the big 1-0 win over Genoa exactly three months ago in October. And we have only won four of our nine away matches in Serie A at all. While Pioli is so desperately trying to string together a series of wins, playing 19th place Empoli away gives Milan a chance to either break their struggling away form with a convincing win, or snap their budding winning form with yet another draw or defeat. With Empoli's near tragic form this season, let's hope that this lunchtime fixture is one for the road.

Milan need to stick together like they did at the end of this match away to Genoa.

Empoli come into this match having not won a game since October 23rd. Their current form is D-D-L-D-D, with their most recent draw a 0-0 draw with 17th place Cagliari last weekend, whom we knocked out of the Coppa Italia midweek. Another tragedy that Empoli are known for is the Milan son that Milan forgot. Daniel Maldini is currently on loan to Empoli, and this pathetic and petty management actually did not even acknowledge his birthday on social media in October. A change in CEO and owner cannot come soon enough to right all of these horrific wrongs.

What's in a name? It depends on who is asking. Some people forget even current Milan-owned players.

Back to their football, however, for the draw with Cagliari, Andreazzoli lined up: Caprile; Ebuehi, Walukiewicz, Luperto, Cacace; Kovalenko, Grassi, Maleh; the Milan owned (but forgotten by this owner) Daniel Maldini; Caputo, and Cambiaghi. Andreazzoli is dealing with a number of injuries himself, as he confirmed in a press conference: Giuseppe Pezzella, Guarino, Bereszińsky, Simone Bastoni, Kovalenko, and Fazzini, with Cacace suspended for this one. 

Pioli got some great news this week with the return of Gabbia. He was the Milanista defender that Pioli defended and put his infinite trust in last season, but threw under the bus and sent on loan the second they started buying "better" players (ironically not defenders) this season. Luckily, Gabbia bleeds red and black, and is healthy and also plays center back, all things this team needs right now. Musah, who has done quite well overall in our midfield this season, also returned to training this week after injury. 

Musah will be a welcome sight back on the team sheet, even if he doesn't feature this time.

Ironically, Krunić was the midfield player Pioli reportedly would not sell no matter what at the beginning of this season. But now that Pioli has seen what Loftus-Cheek, Reijnders, and Musah can contribute, and with the reports of the son of his ex-teammate taking his medicals with Milan on Monday, Krunić is also up for auction, with Pioli very publicly announcing it. I miss the class Pioli exhibited when Maldini was behind him. Krunić has been so loyal to him and to Milan, and he deserves better than this.

That leaves Pioli's injury list for this match at: Sportiello, Caldara, Pellegrino, Kalulu, Thiaw, Tomori, Pobega, and Okafor. Eight players out yet again, assuming Krunić will not be called up with a press conference of that nature, that makes nine missing in all. We will see how many young players Pioli utilizes this time. He stated in his press conference that it was not only the injury apocalypse that allowed them to play, it was their skills and hard work as well (but we all know he never would have used them if he had all of his players healthy.)

Once Pioli's all-purpose player, he has been publicly reduced to a no-purpose player. Shameful of Pioli.

Whomever Pioli chooses to line up, they will need to capitalize on the mentality that is slowly beginning to materialize after winning two in a row. This is a crucial point in the season, considering that it was at this time last year that everything started to come undone. However, that was likely due primarily to the World Cup break, so hopefully, this season will be different. This may seem like just another early January lunchtime fixture, but it could easily carry much bigger consequences, positive or negative. Let's hope they are positive, and we get one for the road.

This post inspired by the music of Stacey Kent's "One For My Baby (And One More For the Road)"

Our next match is 
Serie A Week 19
Empoli vs. Milan
Sunday, January 7, 2024 • 12:30 CET (6:30am 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)

Empoli-Milan Preview: One for the Road Empoli-Milan Preview: One for the Road Reviewed by Elaine on 10:39 PM Rating: 5
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