Monza-Milan Preview: Into the Light

Last week, in their match vs. Napoli, Milan debuted their new fourth kit, "Out of the Shadows" by Los Angeles Streetwear designer PLEASURES. The outfield players wore the black kits, and Maignan wore the white kit. Sunday, against Monza, they will wear the opposite. And opposite is what Monza will be hoping for. Because they have not been able to get a win against Milan since their promotion to Serie A, not even in last summer's Trofeo Silvio Berlusconi friendly. But Milan have scored in every match in 2024, and have won nine league matches in a row dating back to our home match against Monza in December (plus their midweek Europa League match.) It is almost as if their entire season has come "out of the shadows" and into the light.

Now that Leão scored midweek, will everyone let him just be Leão again?

Monza come into this match in 11th place on the table, with a current form of L-L-W-D-D, so will be looking to get back to winning ways at home. Their most recent match was a 0-0 draw with Verona last Sunday. For that matchup, Palladino lined up Di Gregorio; Izzo, Pablo Marí, Carboni; Brindelli, Pessina, Bondo, Zerbin; Colpani, Mota; and the Milan-owned Lorenzo Colombo. Palladino will be missing Samuele Vignato and Caprari to injury for this one. Also, of note, one of Galliani's free transfer, Papu Gomez, is serving a doping ban. 

It's always the exes that will hurt you most.

But the biggest cause for concern, should he play, is Daniel Maldini. Paolo's youngest son scored against Milan in his first appearance against Milan. Since then, he has been loaned out again and again, his legendary father fired from his position as technical director, and the family name dragged through the mud. In fact, this imposter management were so petty as to not even post about Daniel's birthday on social media in October, even though they do that for all Milan players, including many past players who are no longer living. After starting the season at Spezia, Daniel's loan was cut short and he was re-loaned to Monza for the rest of this season. I feel like if he gets a chance to play, he will be very determined to score against Milan. Far more motivated, in fact, than the late Berlusconi's previous motivational technique, a bus full of whores.

May the bestt-dressed team win.

Pioli is slowly seeing players return from injury. Thiaw made his debut after injury midweek, and is actually likely start vs. Monza as well. The mythical Caldara is even back with the squad, so I assume will be called up for this match. That leaves only Kalulu, Tomori, Pobega, and the most recent victim, Calabria, out for this one. However, having just played on Thursday, Pioli is likely to rotate some players as well.

The latest reports are that Giroud and Pulisic will start on the bench, replaced by Jović and Okafor. Reijnders may also get another break, with Adli possibly getting a start as well. Perhaps, if the game is going well, we will get to see some more youth, such as Simić, who memorably made his debut and also scored at the San Siro vs. Monza. Or, if the match is for some reason not going as well, he has the more experienced players on the bench to bring on. With the injured players coming back now, Pioli has a little bit of this thing now called depth. Milan fans might have to learn what that means.

Secret weapon.

This match will not be easy. Monza have fresh legs, are playing at home, and need the points. However, Milan have momentum, and the added incentive that a win could propel them over Juventus into second place, after Allegri's side dropped points again on Saturday. But it will take a lot of focus and mentality, and with one foot in the Europla League, Pioli will need to keep them mentally in this Serie A race. 

Perhaps the best tool Pioli will have are actually these killer new kits. With the players wearing the white kits this week, the ones that sold out online in the presale, before they were even officially unveiled, the players should be feeling particularly good. Because when you look good, you feel good. And when you feel good, the sky is the limit. That is why I am hoping these kits keep us focused, help us escape from our inconsistent ways, and step into the light.

This post inspired by the music of Lush's "Sweetness and Light"

Our next match is 
Serie A Week 25
Monza vs. Milan
Sunday, February 18, 2024 • 20:45 CET (2:45 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)

Monza-Milan Preview: Into the Light Monza-Milan Preview: Into the Light Reviewed by Elaine on 4:31 AM Rating: 5
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