Starting to feel like Ground Hog day around here. Another "cliched" must win, another weekend game following a midweek, and another match in which injuries seem to play the bigger role than the match itself. Who is fit? Who isn't? You would need a live blog just to manage that everchanging list. Latest news says Antonini, Bonera, Van Bommel and Urby are listed as fit. That doesn't take into consideration any injuries that will most likely occur on the way to the stadium, while getting dressed, or simply walking the stairs onto the pitch. I am being over dramatic here, but at this point, it would no longer be a surprise!?
Our last match against Genoa was disrupted by tear gas, but Milan still got the win despite the distraction and what was a poor performance. To be honest, Milan hasn't had a great performance in a few matches so a coming out part of sorts would be good. The question becomes who comes out? Zlatan? Robinho? Muntari? Doesn't really matter to me, as long as we get the crucial three points to stay within striking distance of Juventus who play Roma on the weekend. Roma has seemingly always failed us when we needed them most, so I am not putting any stock in them, best Milan take care of business first.
Allegri does have a few more players fit, but the lineup is still not first choice, albeit a tiny bit closer:
Abbiati; Bonera, Mexes, Yepes, Antonini; Nocerino, Van Bommel, Muntari; Urby; Zlatan, Binho
Not the time for resting players with no midweek match scheduled, so ride the best you have with subs on the ready. You could argue the back line a bit, and maybe even the strikers but at this point it matters little. The midfield needs to be on it's toes in stifling possesion for Genona who have been inconsistent this season. Will be interesting to see how Van Bommel reacts in his first match back. Muntari has been a welcome addition and already has more Serie A goals than Pato this season, not saying much or is it? I will leave that up to you.
The goal is simple as always, a win assures your place near the top, a loss makes it all the more difficult. At this point we can't handle difficult! I want to end on the Pirlo discussion that reared it's ugly head and I didn't chime in on. I still believe it was the right move for all parties, and more importantly Juve and Conte's choice to build around Pirlo this season and probably next is a commitment to the present at the expense of their future. For better or worse they are built around Pirlo, he played well this season but is in decline. An injury, a dip in form, or simple exhaustion are all possibilities, so while the hindsight Einsteins all say well we should have kept him, the story has come to a conclusion quite yet has it? Change is good, you accept change, and Milan is changing for the better, time for people to finally start to see that.