GdS: Time arrives for Pioli to change approach – the suggestion is a 4-3-1-2

By Oliver Fisher -

AC Milan boss Stefano Pioli has been advised to change his tactical approach by this morning’s edition of La Gazzetta dello Sport.

Pioli has until now used the 4-2-3-1 system without much change, having settled on that after experimentations in his first couple of games with other modules.

La Gazzetta (via MilanLive) asks the coach: why not switch to the diamond formation? They are referring to the 4-3-1-2, a decidedly narrow formation that Milan have not seen used probably since the days of Silvio Berlusconi, with Marco Giampaolo having tried and failed to implement it at the start of last season.

The paper states that the line-up with two holding midfielders seems to be struggling in recent weeks and the diamond would also cut out any out-of-form players such as Alexis Saelemaekers, Ante Rebic and/or Samu Castillejo.

In defence a player like Fikayo Tomori could find space as he is a more aggressive centre-back who would be covered by a three-man midfield, in which there would be the chance for Sandro Tonali (or Ismael Bennacer after he recovers) to play as a pure regista in front of the defence.

Calhanoglu would be kept as they playmaker, free to move between the lines, while in attack Ibrahimovic would instead be joined by a second striker such as Mandzukic or Leao, perhaps even Hauge.

Suggested Milan XI (4-3-1-2): Donnarumma; Calabria, Tomori, Kjaer, T. Hernandez; Kessie, Tonali, Meité; Calhanoglu; Ibrahimovic, Leao (Mandzukic).

Tags AC Milan


  1. I’ve been saying for weeks it should be wither a 3-5-2 or a 4-3-1-2 that we move into v. teams that pack the mid. I prefer the 3-5-2 as I feel it puts more players in their ideal positions but the 4-3-1-2 can work too.


    or… my pref….


    1. We have 2 good wingbacks Theo and Calabria with good backups Kalulu and Dalot. I see 3-5-2 is a good option to solve the lack of quality of our wingers

  2. 4-3-2-1 :
    Donnarumma; Calabria, Kjaer, Romagnoli/Gabbia/Tomori, Hernandez; Bennacer (Meite), Tonali, Kessie; Calhanoglu/Saelemaekers, Leao/Hauge/Rebic, Ibrahimovic/Mandzukic.

  3. 4-3-1-2 gives me Giampaolo vibes. I’d rather go with Atalanta style 3-4-1-2. Would be interesting to see Theo as wingback and Leao in two-men forward line. Problem is we only have 3 healthy CB’s, although Kalulu and even Calabria can slot in at RCB

  4. To be honest if milan don’t change formation, 4th place will be a problem, teams below us are making grounds, our next match is a must win to avoid that situation, our captain must be bench tomari must play.

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