What story line to choose, what story line to choose? Is it Pato hurt for a season opener, nope. What about Abate, nope. Milan's history in season openers, nope. How about Pazzo versus Sampdoria in the first match of the season!
Yes Pato is hurt, and maybe Abate will be too, so Allegri will have to work out for him at RB at least. Striker however, is no problem as welcome Pazzini, or Pazzo, as many call him to the fold. Day one versus his old team in front the proper fans at the San Siro! Your exile with Inter is over, time to get a fresh start, and a few goals to your name on the first match day. Many a Milan debut has been spectacular, and I am hoping this one goes the same. The question is who does Allegri choose as his first partner in crime? Will it be the boy among men, El Sharaawy, or the preseason stand out Robinho? Rest easy Max, it is really the only choice you actually have to make!
My winning eleven:
Abbiati; De Sciglio, Acerbi, Zapata, Antonini; Urby, Monty, Nocerino; KPB; Binho, Pazzo
It was actually a fairly call to be honest, I mean what other options are there!? You can split hairs here or there on CB partnerships, but personally I don't trust Mexes all that much and if Abate is fit he starts. Ants is the default LB and the defense is set to go. Midfield is sort of the same, while I can make a case for Ambro to start the match, Monty appears in better form, though it leaves us a bit Captain less. You could slot Ambro in front of the defense, Monty wide right and Nocerino on the left, but then what of Urby? That is if you trust KPB's offseason rust is gone for Sunday or not? OK, OK, maybe there are a few more choices then I elluded to, but I still go with that lineup.
Sampdoria has given Milan tough games in the past, but the key has been Milan scoring first and if they don't concede soon thereafter, like the Leo days, Samp usually caves and Milan can find a comfortable 2 or even 3 goal win. Being newly promoted they have forgotten how to play in Serie A, but the team is not the same and still rebuilding. The theme of the season this year is going to be clean sheets, this Milan team is drastically different from what we have seen in the past two seasons. They will have to defend well as a unit, and counter when able, I don't expect the long spells of possession that we are accustomed to, and I also don't expect four goal outbursts. In truth think of this Milan team as a Land Rover instead of last season's Lamborghini or the Ferrari of two years ago. It still has some style, but is far more functional, less elegant, and a bit clunkier. I have said it before, and will most likely say it again and again, nobody wins matches on style points, they win it on clean sheets and that should be the goal each and every match.
I don't make predictions, haven't made them in five years and counting on this blog, and won't start this season, but I won't stop you from doing it. So weigh in on the poll below.