San Siro, Milan
December 05, 2010 – 00:15 IST
The 15th week of Seria A will see Max Allegri’s men take on the minnows from Brescia. The Rossoneri have been bolstered by Andrea Pirlo’s return, and his presence on the field will instill a sense of stability in the team. Milan are on a high, as they were last beaten seven games ago by Juventus, and are the clear favorites to win this one. Brescia on the other hand, are agonizingly close to the relegation zone at 17th spot, with just three wins so far in the league.
Milan successfully tackled their last league encounter against Sampdoria with the help of a goal by Robinho, only to see Pazzini equalize after 15 mins. Securing one point was of utmost importance, as it kept Milan safely at pole position. Milan will also feel motivated after Lazio thrashed Inter last night with a 3-1 win over the champions to come level with the Rossoneri.
Team News and Tactical Brief
Andrea Pirlo has been declared fit for this match and in all probability will start this game in the midfield. This encounter will hold a lot of emotional connect for the Milan maestro, as Brescia is where he started his career. His return would leave Allegri in a dilemma to leave a player out of the winning combination. Ambrosini is most likely to be discarded, but this would again give Max a lot of options for a substitute which becomes very critical with old legs on the pitch. Antonini also returns for Milan, and will replace Zambrotta, as Abate has more or less cemented his place as the second fullback.
The 4-3-1-2 system has yielded results, and it’s likely that this will be Milan’s formation until Pato returns. The Diavolo can’t afford to rest Ibrahimovic at this stage, but with the strike looming over Serie A fixtures next week and a high possibility of the games being called off, the lanky Swede becomes an automatic selection. Seedorf has found a new life as a trequartista in the past few weeks. Although he runs out of gas after 50 mins, it’s his vision which makes him so effective at this position. Ronaldinho will again start on the bench, but it might not be such a bad idea for Allegri to bring him on after 60 mins, to see what the Brazilian has to offer. Another player who deserves some time off is the legendary Sandro Nesta. The insignificant champions league fixture against Ajax midweek coming next will be the best time to give an early Christmas break to all the tired souls.
Probable Line-up: Abbiati, Abate, Nesta, Thiago Silva, Antonini; Gattuso, Pirlo, Flamini, Seedorf, Robinho, Ibrahimovic.
The Rondinelle can challenge Milan, if they treat this game as the final fixture of their campaign. They have all the reasons, as a loss in this might take them into relegation. Their manager Iachini is well aware of how intimidating the Giuseppe Meazza can get, and is not expecting much from his side. However, a review of his side’s performances against two of the other Italian Giants shows that they can’t be underestimated. They managed to stop Inter and Juventus with back to back stalemates in the space of four days in November.
The formation will be a 3-4-2-1. With a crowded midfield, they would hope to negate Milan’s transition from defense to offense. Brescia would look forward to their lone striker Caracciolo to score, as he has been the man in form, scoring 5 of the total 11 goals netted by the Lionessa.
Probable Line-up: Sereni, Zebina, Bega, Martinez, Zambelli, Vass, Hetemaj, Daprela, Diamanti, Kone, Caracciolo
TheHardTackle’s PLAYER TO WATCH OUT FOR
Andrea Pirlo( AC Milan):
The good ‘ol #21 is back. Fighting from a muscular injury since two weeks, he would resume his work as the deep lying playmaker. With Milan’s transition to a new formation , he would be the key link to supply balls to Seedorf and the forward line to create chances for Milan. Never regarded for his pace, the ageing star is still the core of Allegri’s system , as the maestro has the ability and the vision for a move which goes unnoticed until the ball is in the back of the goal.
AC Milan 3-0 Brescia
The Rossoneri, playing at home, will take the three points off this game. If Milan score early, there could be a spate of attacks on Brescia’s goal. Milan’s quality is way superior to Brescia’s, and the recently promoted club would find it hard to cope up with the Italian Stallions
TheHardTackle’s BLAST FROM THE PAST