Let's be honest we all want to forget about the midweek match and the truth of the matter is that we will. Regardless of the result we are through to the next round of the CL for the first time since we won it back in 2007. Next week's will draw will happen, we will get our next opponent and all will be forgotten. A way to make sure this happens is to get three points this Sunday, no questions asked.
Juventus dropped point’s midweek. Suddenly, what I believed to be Juventus’ scudetto to lose is now appearing more and more to be Milan's claim. This has its positives and negatives. Being in the driver's seat means you are in control, your results guarantee your success and if you can manage those you get your hands on the prize. It also means there is a bull’s eye on your back and with the added distraction of Coppa Italia and CL, assuring three points in each and every league match becomes tougher and tougher. Fatigue is a very real concern and while the injury situation is improving dramatically there are still concerns about match fitness and player personnel. I still contend that a domestic double would have made for a great season, and anything further in the CL is gravy, but now maybe even I may be swayed to get a little greedy. Point being none of that moves forward without taking care of the first order of business and that is Lecce.
The last match was a 4-3 slugfest in which Prince decided to land the KO. That Milan team seems like a years ago, and their lack of cohesion and chemistry is long gone. I don't expect a repeat of the result but Lecce has been earnest and impressive in their last five matches and is winning by simply playing smart effective football. This should pose no problem for Milan who will most definitely go back to the normal formation as the performance midweek put the nail in the Plan B coffin and hopefully reinforced that the 4-3-3 is NEVER a viable option for this team.
With the formation all but understood it is the personnel that is the big question. You can always count on regulars like Abbiati, Silva, and Abate, but with the fatigue being a concern some players may see some rest. You also have to wonder if poor midweek performances from Mesbah and Van Bommel get them another chance or some time to think on the bench. My take:
Abbiati; Abate, Bonera, Silva, Mesbah; Aquilani, Ambro, Muntari; Urby; Zlatan, Robinho
The regulars need no explanation, but hear me out on the rest. Mesbah didn't earn this start, but the emotions of playing his old team may be beneficial to Milan and he needs to forget his performance midweek. Nocerino is the man that never rests and getting Aquilani back into the swing of things should be a priority. If Milan get a lead you can bring in Nocerino or Rino, either way Aqui may not last a full 90. Van Bommel can always use a break if the opportunity presents itself as he always looks a bit sluggish of late. The attacking trio is based simply on fitness but I can be swayed to consider Maxi or El Sharaawi as subs or even starters depending on who needs a break after a tough month.
Simply put, put the poor performance midweek behind them and press forward along the home stretch. Who knows if things go well we can start talking about things like doubles and trebles. A far cry from what we have endured with the self-deprecating roller coaster many tifosi have been on!