Sometimes the hardest thing for a team to do is keep a good thing going. Not but a week ago people were crucifying Allegri for his first half against Udinese, and how hapless Milan was in the matches prior. The mood has changed dramatically, no surprise, but the injury crisis is still ever present and the fact that the schedule remains congested does not just go away. Initial reaction would be to rest up for Cesena, but at the risk of throwing away some new found chemistry, or taking the opponent to lightly, Milan have to keep on chugging along as they have been all month long.
It is cliched to say three points is a must, but the cold hard truth is that three points keeps Juventus exactly where they belong for the time being, and that is second place. Don't forget they still have games in hand, but while their schedule tightens ours could potentially get easier with mid to lower table competition, and don't forget our title showdown looms merely a week away. But best to not get ahead of ourselves, for most fans we sucked royally not but a few weeks ago and Sunday just about anything can happen. Cesena have struggled of late, and while they boast a solid attack with Mutu and Iaquinta, they have injury troubles at the back and struggle to maintain leads. Milan has the same troubles at the back with Mexes getting yet another injury and little chance for Silva to get some rest.
The injuries still remain a real concern but players are returning slowly but surely, so Allegri needs to be cautious on who can play and who can't, taking into consideration match fitness and fatigue. My lineup:
Abbiati; Abate, Nesta, Silva, Mesbah; Urby, Ambro, Nocerino; Prince; El Sharaawi, Lopez
Abbiati returned with a bang midweek and rightfully takes back his place. Nesta should be able to return fit to play alongsSilva, if not Bonera will surely be next in line. Mesbah replaces Antonini after a solid display midweek, but giving Luca another match after the midweek showing wouldn't be to far fetched. Urby and Nocerino have been solid of late and will continue to flank the CDM who should be Ambro this week to assure rest for Van Bommel. If Prince can play again, he should go directly to the CAM spot, and with the injury to Seedorf Milan have few options, truth be told no options, in his place. If Prince can't go you can throw the Little Pharaoh behind Robinho and Maxi. One guy that gets an automatic rest is Zlatan, so if Prince goes I would like to see a repeat of the new dynamic duo, Lopez and El Sharaawi. No mention of Pato, because at this point, he is an afterthought, no sense in sugar coating that one. One key thing to look out for is if Valoti, Cristante or Calvano make the bench for this one with the continued midfield injury crisis. Calvano is a solid CM/CDM option while Valoti can play behind the strikers, there typically few games were players like these can make a decent showing, but if the game goes well enough early, this can be one of them.
So, three big points, or chance missed, guess you have to come and find out on Sunday. Oh yeah, schedule permits a live blog at the moment, so for those who enjoyed Wednesday's extravaganza feel free to join in on this one, oh and if you missed Wednesday's fun, don't miss this one!