AC Milan have three big games after the international break and Stefano Pioli must rotate his players accordingly, a report has claimed.
La Gazzetta dello Sport writes how Milan played 53 games last season in all competitions – the most of any Serie A side – so they know full well that playing sometimes three times in a seven-day stretch can have lasting consequence. This time the midweek game is the Champions League and not the Europa League, so rotating in those games would be dangerous.
The problems begin straight after the current break as the Rossoneri face Lazio, Liverpool and Juventus in the space of a week, between Sunday 12 and Sunday 19 September.
There were difficult stretches last season like Red Star, Inter, Red Star and Roma in February then Manchester United, Napoli and Manchester United again in March. In November Milan will face Roma, Porto and Inter, which is a comparatively difficult stretch.
Pioli is thinking about how best to rotate his players starting with Lazio. It is difficult to imagine that the formation will undergo severe change but certain players could come into the fold like Alessio Romagnoli, Fode Ballo-Touré, Pierre Kalulu, Tiemoue Bakayoko and Alessandro Florenzi, as well as the Tonali-Bakayoko pairing.
Regarding the attack, almost everything depends on Giroud and on the timing with which he will be back from Covid. Rafael Leao could step in as a striker against Lazio if the crisis continues as the early selection dilemmas beckon for Pioli.