- Jul 13, 2015
- Reaction score
- Fav. Players
Our Ale has a small muscle injury & might not be able to play tomorrow! He will be having a late fitness test in the morning.... hope he is OK, our captain...
While that is a shame it is good it is not serious. Also, not to underestimate Chievo, but this is probably one of the better matches for Ale to sit out. It gives Zapata some much needed minutes for match fitness too.
4-2 prediction as Ale is not playing. Forza Milan!
In my experience Zapata also really delivers when he has to step up for one game. It's when he starts playinh regularly the brain farts start.
Team news: Milan are without Alessandro Plizzari, Mattia Caldara, Andrea Conti, Ivan Strinić, Riccardo Montolivo and Alessio Romagnoli, who was originally in the squad but is out of the game due to a slight injury that the Rossoneri doctors don’t want to risk. Chievo have to do without Fabrizio Cacciatore, Nenad Tomović, Joel Obi, Emanuele Giaccherini and Filip Đorđević. Kickoff time is 15:00 CEST at Stadio San Siro.
AC Milan (4-3-3) – Gennaro Gattuso
Gianluigi Donnarumma; Ignazio Abate, Mateo Musacchio, Cristian Zapata, Ricardo Rodríguez; Franck Kessié, Lucas Biglia, Giacomo Bonaventura; Suso, Gonzalo Higuaín, Hakan Çalhanoğlu.
Bench: Reina, A. Donnarumma, Calabria, Mauri, Castillejo, Borini, Bakayoko, Bertolacci, Simić, Cutrone, Halilović, Laxalt.
A.C. Chievo Verona (4-3-1-2) – Lorenzo D’Anna
Stefano Sorrentino; Fabio Depaoli, Luca Rossettini, Mattia Bani, Federico Barba; Nicola Rigoni, Ivan Radovanović, Valter Birsa; Mehdi Léris; Sergio Pellissier, Mariusz Stępiński.
Bench: Semper, Seculin, Tanasijevic, Pucciarelli, Cesar, Kiyine, Burruchaga, Grubac, Jaroszynski, Vignato, Hetemaj, Meggiorini.
Referee: Gianpaolo Calvarese.
“Our objective is to win, to take three more points. I know that you expected me to say ‘not to concede’ but if I say it then it’s bad luck,” Gattuso told the reporters at the Milanello press room on Saturday afternoon. “On paper it seems like an easy game but it won’t be, Chievo are going through a difficult period but they are well positioned at a tactical level and are very dangerous on set-pieces, we will need a great technical performance, we can’t afford to make mistakes.
“What I expect from the fans tomorrow? Except for in the Europa League [when they were only 22k fans at San Siro], probably due the kick off time, we cannot complain about the fans. The enthusiasm is there and tomorrow there will be enthusiasm. We hope we don’t get whistles, we must be good as well. The problem is not the fans, they have always been present and have made us feel their voice.
“How would I rate the team’s reaction in the Europa League? Every game has a different story. We had started well against Olympiacos and that goal knocked the wind out of our sails, but we did well to react. There was a great cross from Ricardo Rodriguez and Patrick equalized it.
“This type of attitude is what I want to see, as over the last two months we’ve been missing that. We were moving the ball around well, we were focusing on what we were good at, but we were missing that something and I think that these two games have unblocked us mentally.
“The month of October? We have to play game by game. Apart from the derby, I don’t know who we’re facing this month and I’m not joking. I’m focused on Chievo and then there will be an international break. We have to think about Chievo, then we’ll think about what’s coming.
“Çalhanoğlu? His performance against Roma was great, in all respects, in terms of quality and running. And then there can be a player who has difficulties, he must go in search of precision, his problem is not his physical condition now. When I said the other day that he doesn’t have to think, I meant to say that he has to free his mind, he thinks too much and it’s holding him down. He has at least 10 goals in his feet, now he just has to be calm because he’s a fundamental player for us. He’s had some family problems [going through divorce] that passed thanks to the proximity of the team.
“If I expect more from the new signings apart from Higuain and Caldara? I’m happy with everyone at the moment. Castillejo did well against Sassuolo, as did Laxalt. Bakayoko is still a bit in trouble but it’s normal. I’m happy with the players I have available, we can all do something more together.
“Cutrone as a starter? It’s not that I enjoy benching him… I was distraught when he was injured because he changes the matches with enthusiasm, with dynamism. He’s a very important player. It seems that I’m fixed on 4-3-3, I choose based on what I see and receive on the pitch, we can even change strategy, we have to try to play less refined football and focus more on our opponents. I always have to worry about making the team fully express themselves. Against Olympiacos I saw that we needed two strikers and we played with two strikers.
“Cutrone off the bench? Games are changed in the last 20 minutes. Patrick has this talent, when he enters he can split the games in two, he has this characteristic inside. He also played as a starter, demonstrating his characteristics, but when he enters from the bench he always determines.
“Cutrone’s call-up to the Italy senior national team [for games against Ukraine and Poland]? He must be proud if the call-up, it must be an incredible joy. He is not well, his ankle hurts but then you must present yourself and La Nazionale will decide. It’s a pride that he’s been called-up.
“Why is Bakayoko not at his best? The responsibilities are all mine. At a tactical level I have not entered in his head yet. It is our duty to improve him as a player, because he does have a lot of quality and we’re not finding that yet. He has good qualities and he has to give a big hand. He has been here for two months and we haven’t yet been able to get him to understand the movements. A language barrier [Gattuso said before that Bakayoko should learn Italian]? No, my staff speaks the language perfectly, I’m not putting him in a position to express himself at the fullest.
“The importance of Higuain and Reina? They are important figures. They are figures that express quality and professionalism. They are an added value, when you see such characters, you have to copy/paste them, that’s what happened at Milanello in the past.
“Ricardo Rodriguez? He is a player who makes difficult balls simple and he is never anxious. He can push even harder but he’s doing more than last year. I’m very happy with how he’s playing. He’s an international player and he manages to do both phases of play. He has also improved on a defensive level. Last year he was worried, now I see him free mentally and I’m very happy.
“My choices? I’m happy with everyone but I make choices. Borini has different characteristics than Çalhanoğlu, for example. Castillejo prefers to play on the right but we have Suso and he has completely different characteristics from Suso. We need to take advantage of those who are playing little for the characteristics they have but we need everyone. I’m happy. I would like us to score a few goals from set-pieces, it’s been a while since that happened.
“If I’d like a striker in January? I want many things in life but sometimes I have to settle… I can’t lose energy thinking about January. There will be a moment when we will sit with the club and we’ll see what we can do. We have to gather as many points as possible, this is our goal. We are determined to clinch fourth or third place to qualify for the Champions League, because this is our objective.
“If I would like to have a player with the personality of Ibrahimović [Raiola opened the door to it]? I’ve already told you that you have to talk to the club and to Leonardo about that. I cannot talk about players who are not part of the squad. If I have to talk about the emotions he gave us then I can only tell that he’s a phenomenon with a devastating personality which is not easy to manage.
“He’s a leader and if you’re not mentally strong with Ibra then he destroys you. He always wants to win, he’s very demanding of his teammates and it’s not always an added value. I don’t want to talk about it, but that’s Ibra. If one day we’ll decide [to go for him], we’ll see, but it’s just hot air now.
“Where can Milan reach? At this moment we have shown and we’re working to correct them. There are many good things but we have stumbled upon some defects and we have little time. We need to think about game after game. We’re not far off the top teams. We left a few points behind, although we deserved more but we have to keep working and believe in what we’re doing.”