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Finish Strong

I don’t mean to rain on everyone’s parade but I am going to be brutally honest here, Leo or no Leo, I don’t see Inter dropping points on the weekend. By now we all know that if Milan win and Inter drop points then we can get the mathematical reassurance we have all been waiting so patiently for, and crown our AC Milan Scudetto champions. Seven long years we have waited, and while it sure was nice to see Paolo hoist Old Big Ears one last time in 2007, watching Inter win title after title, and surpassing us in the number of Scudettos won was downright painful. While winning this thing is step one to correcting the Serie A Universe, if we have to wait another week so be it, it doesn’t mean Milan can’t and shouldn’t win, but I don’t want anyone’s help when we finally take back what is ours.

With that said, Bologna is no easy task. A team that has been kicked, beaten, and even docked three points, and what have they done? They have done what a good team should do, grin and bear it, and the points they have earned this season often times in the most desperate of situations are surely deserved, and for that I respect a team like Bologna. More so than some of the other teams in Serie A, who can’t seem to be accountable for their own shortcomings, blaming everyone but themselves for their current position. For this alone, I don’t take Bologna lightly, and neither should Allegri.

As I watch the team sheet swell back to where it should be after the injury epidemic, I am bit torn as to whom the first team should be. We can pretty much assure that Ambro will go back to the CM role he dominated before Van Bommel took his place due to injury, but there are still some questions about the LM role and the strikers that Allegri will answer for us on the weekend. Seedorf has been excellent at LM and with a full weeks rest he will have fresh legs to operate on, the other option is Pirlo, and while many of us want to see Andrea back in the Red and Black, you couldn’t argue if Seedorf gets the nod with his recent play. Who am I to discredit a player who has left it on the pitch each and every match since being given the role? It simply wouldn’t be fair.

As for strikers with Pato training this week and Pippo as well, I would be lying if I wasn’t salivating to see Pippo see out this season the way he has so many before it; with a flurry a goals in the month of May. If fit he gets the nod for me, and the mere idea of him and Cassano working together intrigues me, but in the same sense you can’t discount everything Robinho has done for this team, even when he isn’t hitting the broad side of a barn his work rate has been stellar and I can never argue for his inclusion. The CAM role is up for debate and with the team at home, it may be Robinho who slots in behind Pippo and Cassano, making more of an XMAS tree than the conventional 4-3-1-2 we have all come to know and love, either way this team is plenty capable to take care of business and put us one step closer. My lineup:

Abbiati; Abate, Nesta, Silva, Urby; Rino, Ambro, Seedorf; Robinho; Cassano, Pippo

So I went for the jugular, Prince looks like he could use the rest and with him and Pirlo on the bench you can change the dynamic of the match at any given moment. Plus seeing Cassano and Pippo together on the pitch is something I am sure many any Italian have dreamed of, so why not. While Allegri could use him as a sub, it may very well be his last few matches as a Milan player and no reason why he can’t see them out if fit to play. The big surprise from me is Urby at LB, if ever there was a game where this could make sense it is this one. His pace can prove effective, and if Ambro can play as he did before his injury Milan should have no worries. The kid needs to show if he can do it, and there is no time like the present, some may say it is risky, but it is a calculated one. Di Vaio is dangerous, but he prefers the opposite side so Nesta and Abate will be kept busy, why not let Urby have a crack at the left flank?

In the end, as I have said in the past, it matters little who plays, as long as they come prepared to do what is asked of them and put Milan one step closer to the goal. This team has come a long way; we endured an embarrassing season last year under Leonardo. We have shed some dead weight in a long forgotten soul, and we have come out stronger and more balanced than Milan teams of the past few seasons. One of our own will be in the stands for this one, Avia will see that the ACMilan Offside Ultras will be out in full force, but the job easy, finish strong.