GdS: Probable Milan XI to face Cagliari – Pioli to pick the youngsters

By Euan Burns -

AC Milan could look very different when they take to the field against Cagliari in the Coppa Italia this evening as Stefano Pioli is expected to name a very young side. 

Whilst the Coppa Italia is certainly not Milan’s priority, the Rossoneri went out to Torino at this stage last season and a cup run could be what some players need to gain a bit more confidence to take into Serie A matches.

According to this morning’s edition of La Gazzetta dello Sport (as seen below), there could be four players under the age of 20 in the starting eleven. Mike Maignan is expected to remain in goal, whilst Davide Calabria holds his place at right-back.

The two centre-halves will be Jan-Carlo Simic, making his first start, and Theo Hernandez. At left-back, there may be a debut for Alex Jimenez who has been impressing under Ignazio Abate in the Primavera team.

With this being a 4-2-3-1 formation, the midfield two is expected to see Yacine Adli get a rare start, with Tijjani Reijnders alongside him.

Given he is about to leave for the Africa Cup of Nations, Samuel Chukwueze will start on the right wing. Luka Romero will get a rare start in the No.10 role, whilst there may be a start for Chaka Traore on the left wing in place of Rafael Leao.

Olivier Giroud will be rested, which means a start for Luka Jovic.


Tags AC Milan Milan Cagliari


  1. WTF is wrong with Pioli?!??!?!?
    He has a chance to play Adli as a CAM (his true position) and he still plays him CDM, and puts Romero who’s a right winger at CAM. Reijnders and Adli double pivot with Romero infront of him? Who TF is defending in that midifield?

  2. Well, I’m really glad to see that, however there are no physical players in the midfield and it might be a problem.
    In this lineup, I would use RLC instead of Romero or Adli.
    Very interesting to see Traore and Jimenez today.

  3. I like this!
    Shaking up the starting 11 could only do good with the lack of spark in the team lately.
    My only concern is that this midfield trio has very limited defensive capabilities.
    Also always good to see Adli starting

  4. You control and hold the ball well enough and you won’t need to have a destroyer in the middle; just a balancer, a ‘metronome’. And Adli can do that, if he doesn’t force things. Like Busquet between Iniesta and Xavi or Madrid’s midfield after Casemiro left or Xabi in that Bayern midfield. Doesn’t mean the midfield doesn’t run or work hard, just means they defend well together and from the top, and the destroying doesn’t depend on a single player.

    1. I actually think this was the plan at the beginning of the season; more control of the ball. Hence the switch to 4-3-3, and the lack of urgency to sign a destroyer. And I thought it was working too, with evident margins for improvement. And Krunic was doing the Balancer work well (not Busquet of Xabi level but…); short passes to open up spaces, clever movements, keeping it simple.
      But impatience, especially after the Inter game, interrupted that process. And injuries too.

      Although I think we’re going back there gradually with Benny back.

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