I am previewing a game that may or may not happen, just so you are aware. At this point weather outlook is grim, with the game being moved from a 245 EST start time to a 9 EST start time. Until we know for sure we press on with business as usual...and business is not good...
So much has been made this season about Milan's inability to beat the top sides in the Table, in fact almost as much has been made about Napoli's inability to beat the weak sides in the Table. So really on the outset things are NOT looking up for Milan. We know how difficult the month is, two games a week for four weeks, and the injuries are not easy to contend with, but this is not the time for excuses. Both teams enter this match with a simple directive: must win.
The loss to Lazio difficult, in fact it left many wondering what could have been differently, but as we discussed in the comments, few options truly existed. We know in some way shape or form the defense will remain the same, which is a positive, Abbiati will remain in net and Zlatan and Nocerino will be in the starting eleven. The rest is up for debate. Against Lazio we saw an attack minded front three who often dropped deep but didn't connect as well as one would have thought with the midfield. It didn't help that Zlatan was a bit out of form, and in turn caused problems for his teammates, but this is not a surprise. February is often unkind to the big Swede, and no coincidence that is usually the time of his big CL failures? If Milan are to right the ship he needs to break the February slump and at least create if he can't finish. He is a fixture in the lineup but who does he pair with? Binho continues to work but he wasn't the live wire that El Shaarawi was, and while Seedorf can slow things down to a painful halt his qualities could be useful in the right scenario this match, so here it goes:
Abbiati; Abate, Mexes, Silva, Mesbah; Urby, Ambro, Nocerino; Clarence; Zlatan, El Shaarawi
Van Bommel and Ambro need to be rotated, not played together so it starts this week. Same can be said of Nesta, Silva and Mexes, avoiding more than two games in a row for any of them. Abate, Mesbah, and Nocerino risk being worn out, but at this point you need the points here and now. Clarence can be lethal, or detrimental, I guess 45 minutes should be enough time to decide that, if not bring on Binho or Maxi. This one is a must win and needs to be wrapped up as soon as possible.
Record in the Month of Hell: 0W 1L 0D