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Birthday Wishes, CL Surprises, and Problems in Black and White

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So much to discuss today, we may as well hit the ground running. First and foremost Happy 112th Birthday to AC Milan…

I remember 1999’s Centennial like it was yesterday, hard to believe another 12 have gone by. Those 12 were some of the most amazing for me as a Milan Tifosi. Two CL’s, three scudetti, the rise of Sheva and Kaka, the retirement of Maldini, the scourge of Ronaldniho and Leo, a Club World Cup, and the gut –wrenching loss in Istanbul. What a roller coaster, a ride I wouldn’t trade in for the World. Here is to many many many more. FORZA MILAN!

Now onto the Champions League draw:
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I warned against the dangers of Arsenal, but many a Milan fan seem to be oblivious to Arsenal’s recent run of form and more functional result orientated style of football they are currently playing. This is not the pass you around the block, physically inept Arsenal many are used to, this is a roll their sleeves up punch you in the face Arsenal and that sort of never say die attitude always poses a problem. Of course I still believe Milan will come out on top, but this is not going to be a walk in the park. For the rest of the boot both Inter and Napoli have a chance to advance as well. From a fan perspective, I have to say Chelsea v Napoli is incredible, 4-3-3 v 3-5-2, nice wide open football, and a good chance for Napoli to show some class. Some will call it revenge if Italy can come out on top in the Italy v England ties, but for most it will simply be the cyclical nature of football.

Now onto more pressing matters, our little “Black and White” problem gets a little worse. Udinese and Juventus sit atop the table ahead of us and Siena comes town to make matters worse. Now Siena has not been a strong team and sitting atop the relegation zone at a mere 14 points doesn’t exactly strike fear in the heart of opponents, but as we already know, no game is easy. It has also grown abundantly clear that this Milan team is very capable of winning and more often defeats themselves, something that can’t be done in what is a must take three points match.

Allegri is still dealing with the loss of Nesta, so the tossup between Mexes and Bonera remains. This is an important one because Siena has Destro and Calaio up top and their blend of pace and strength could pose a problem. But injuries may force Allegri's hand even further. Nocerino also remains a question mark and his pace, tackling, and off the balls were sorely missed against Bologna. While I want him to play, I also don’t want him to further worsen his injury. Would almost prefer he continue to be rested. There is also the discussion about Seedorf, Aquilani or Urby, and frankly I think Seedorf and Aquilani on the pitch together are useless, and Urby’s appearance last week earned a start in my book. The same way Pato’s disappearing act earned him a spot on the bench.

My lineup:
Amelia; De Sciglio, Bonera, Silva, Taiwo; Prince, Van Bommel, Urby; Aquilani; Zlatan and Robinho

UPDATE: No Abate, Antonini or Abbiati!? Not to mention no callup for Zambro so defense is pressed. I like Aquilani closer to the strikers, simply because Prince and Urby can provide more in pressing and forward runs while Aqui is better on the ball. Zlatan and Robinho need no explanation, when those two are on, they are on. See you for a Saturday afternoon match no liveblog this time around, but I had a blast time and if people enjoy it I am happy to do it again. One thing is for sure, expect a live blog for the matches against Arsenal!