Stadio Luigi Ferraris, Genoa
November 27, 2010 – 22.30 IST
AC Milan is all set to travel to the city of Genoa for the 14th round of Serie A against Domenico Di Carlo’s warriors. The Rossoneri have been extraordinarily vibrant and are enjoying a four game winning streak in the league. Though Allegri’s men sit at the pole position, they are fully aware of what’s in store for them. Il Diavolo can’t make the mistake of taking Samp lightly as a game at the Stadio Luigi Ferraris is considered as one of the toughest forts to capture. It’s certainly not a walk in the park and Allegri will have to play smartly with his resources, rotating them in order to extract the best out of his worn out players.
Team News and Tactical Brief
Andrea Pirlo is still not fit to take part in this crucial game. So Max will have to rely on his workhorses in the midfield to dominate possession. Ambrosini has filled the void left by the good ‘ol #21 even though his role is completely different. Flamini has been a revelation since coming back from injury and the fans will hope he continues in the same fashion to cement his place in the side. Though the quality of Rino’s play is questionable as he looses the ball too often but the Italian plays the game with passion and is an integral part of Allegri’s system.
The Rossoneri’s fate was turned around as soon as Max decided to give up Leo’s 4-3-3. The midfield was too pedestrian and was the major cause of Milan loosing on points initially. Though the players are more or less the same, it was the number of personnel that didn’t go with the style of play. Ronaldinho has failed miserably and this prompted the change to introduce Seedorf as a playmaker to feed Ibrahimovic and Robinho. The 4-3-1-2 is the formation that Allegri will field against Samp. The most critical decision will be to choose between Ibrahimovic and Ronaldinho. Ibrahimovic has been at his sparkling best and has scored the most goals for Milan this season with 4 assists. R80’s goal against Auxerre has proven that he still has the class and it would be wise for Max to give Ibra a well deserved rest, which he has been yearning for long now. Testing R80 in the 4-3-1-2 might be a gamble and whether or not Samp at home is the right time to roll the dice is something that the Milan manager has to figure out.
Probable Line-up: Abbiati; Zambrotta, Nesta, Thiago Silva, Abate; Gattuso, Ambrosini,Flamini Seedorf, Robinho, Ibrahimovic.
The Blucerchiati sit at the 8th spot on the table. Though they are coming from a 3-2 victory over Lecce last week their team chemistry is looking shaky to say the least. The man in question is the man who sees his name on the headlines for all the wrong reasons. Antonio Cassano allegedly refused to attend a club event and when confronted, he insulted the Club president Riccardo Garrone. Mr. President said openly that he would have overlooked the incident had Cassano talked to him in person. He openly insulted Garrone and as an aftermath Samp is looking to terminate his contract. It’s such a shame because Cassano was playing well, having scored 4 goals so far and could have proved a handful for Milan to tackle, but then that’s Cassano for you. All the pressure will be rested upon the shoulders of Giampaolo Pazzini who scored a hat trick against the Salentini. Captain Angelo Palombo is all set to return for Samp after recovering fully from his muscular injury. Other players not in the starting lineup due to injuries are Pedro Obiang , Franco Semioli , Luciano Zauri and Marco Padalino.
Probable Line-up: Curci, Cacciatore Gastaldello, Lucchini, Ziegler, Koman, Tissone, Angelo Palombo, Guberti, Pazzini, Marilungo.
TheHardTackle’s Player to Watch Out For:
Ibracadabra has been on song this season. He has carried all the goal scoring responsibilities in absence of the injured ‘duck’. AC Milan has been built to play for this man and every player revolves around him. Such is the class of the man that whenever a ball is fed to him upfront he creates something out of the ordinary and his biggest asset is that he believes in himself. Though he has declared openly about being exhausted but even with he’ll be a handful even with half his strength.
Sampdoria 1-1 AC Milan
Samp has shown good defence this season letting the ball in only 11 times. They are the home team and it is not a walk in the garden to beat them at the Luigi Ferraris. Max might take this game lightly as Milan has a week to rejuvenate after this. Ibrahimovic to score for Milan and Pazzini with the equalizer for Sampdoria
TheHardTackle’s Blast From The Past: