It would be easy to overlook Saturday's match against Fiorentina, with Barca looming only a few days away. A mistake that many a team would make, considering the opponent's state of flux at the moment. The problem is that state of flux may be exactly what makes Fiorentina dangerous. Yes, they are missing some players, possibly Jovetic, but the real key here is hiring of Delio Rossi.
Rossi has always perplexed me, one of the most sound tacticians in all of Italy, yet somehow he gets hired and fired like a Zamparini employee. Wait a minute, I think he was a Zamaparini employee, and Lotito too, that explains a lot. But at the end of the day how he has not stuck with a bigger Club, when a guy like Gigi Del Neri was handed the reins of Juventus, is beyond me. Always a guy capable of doing a lot with a little, he has his teams be both tactically and technically sound and always play well against our Milan. While the record of 4 wins, 5 losses, and 8 draws doesn't seem all that convincing he hasn't lost to Milan in his last five matches. He has his work cut out form him, taking over the Viola just a few days ago, but the benefit of the International break, and the buying on of his best players, such as Milan target Montolivo. The challenge for Allegri and Co is stout indeed.
With Barca only a few days away, but having the benefit of International break and some rest, the lineup for this game will simply be a balance of what Allegri's desires are for both matches. A few interchangeable players, such as Van Bommel/Ambro, will be key choices for Allegri, and securing three points will only build necessary momentum for the challenge ahead. I won't talk to much about Barca quite yet, because it is the winning eleven for Fiorentina which is of the current concern. My take:
Abbiati; Abate, Bonera, Silva, Zambro; Nocerino, Ambro, Aquilani; Seedorf; Zlatan, Binho
I started Ambro for the sake of regaining form, better here than against Barca. Also, the pace of this game and Rossi's preference for the 4-3-1-2, with a diamond midfield may afford a Seedorf a bit more time and space and his lack of pace is better here than midweek. Aquilani and Nocerino can both play again midweek and getting Nesta some extra time is a big help to assure he is fresh. Pato may be fit for the match and on the bench, but even Allegri hinted at gaining some more fitness before risking him to another injury so I would expect Pippo should be kept on the ready. Then again better he gets reinjured now than midweek where substitutions may be more critical, the joys of having to be concerned about injury...
The biggest point here, however; is to assure three points and then find rest for players if and when it is possible. Best case scenario an early lead and controlled possession match, a poor showing here will do nothing to benefit the team going forward so in true Allegri fashion, put the team's best foot forward and go for the win!