Date: 21 January 2019
Time: 15.00 CET, 9:00 AM Eastern, 14.00 UTC
Venue: Stadio Comunale Luigi Ferraris, Genoa, Italy
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The biggest news of the day will not be the match on the pitch, but rather the status of the strikers that may be making a big money switch sometime before (or during) the match.
Gonzalo Higuain has been left out of the squad list to face Genoa as his move to Chelsea moves every closer, and by extension, all eyes will be on Genoa to see if Krzysztof Piatek takes the pitch for Genoa one last time before his reported switch to Milan. It will be extremely doubtful that Piatek takes the pitch, and only if the move completely breaks down will he even take the bench.
As for the players that will actually appear in the match, Lucas Paqueta will possibly make his Serie A debut for Milan today, but Milan will also be missing out on a few players, along with manager Gennaro Gattuso. Gattuso is suspended after he “acted aggressively” to the referee in the aftermath of the poorly officiated Supercoppa.
In addition to Gattuso, Franck Kessie, Alessio Romagnoli, and Davide Calabria are all suspended, meaning that Ignazaio Abate, Cristian Zapata, Mateo Musacchio, and Ricardo Rodriguez will likely start in the back, Paqueta will be joined by Tiémoué Bakayoko and Jose Mauri in midfield, and Suso and Hakan Calhanoglu will flank Patrick Cutrone in a front three.
Will Milan be able to pull off a win? Milan should be able to overcome the loss of Higuain, but the suspended defenders might cause problems, as Romagnoli’s late winner was the difference last time these two teams played. Suso is healthy again, so perhaps he will be the difference.