Giampaolo: “We have not changed anything; Suso can play trequartista”

By Oliver Fisher -

AC Milan head coach Marco Giampaolo has reiterated that nothing about his side has changed in terms of ideas and preparation.

Milan travel east to the Stadio MarcAntonio Bentegodi on Sunday as they look to follow up their 1-0 win over Brescia and make it two wins from their opening three Serie A fixtures.

There are some worrying statistics leading up to the game, such as the fact that Milan have lost both of their most recent away games against Hellas 3-0 and 2-1 respectively.

In addition, the Diavolo have won just nine of their last 32 games against Hellas Verona at the Bentegodi, losing 11 and drawing 12, and have not won the first game after an international break for almost three years (October 2016).

A lot of the pre-match speculation has been regarding which formation Giampaolo will use for the game, with Friday’s edition of La Gazzetta dello Sport (via MilanChannel’s Twitter) suggesting it will be a 4-3-3 with Castillejo and Suso supporting Piatek.

On the other hand MilanNews – who cite SportMediaset – ran a report saying that the Rossoneri will play with a 4-3-2-1 as they did against Brescia.

Giampaolo addressed the media before the team leave for Verona.

“They trained well with great professionalism, even those who went to the national team worked well,” he told reporters, as per MilanNews

“They all came back well, they did the training well. I am confident, with work we will put many things in place, the team will transmit this trust, they do things well and works well with enthusiasm, time will fix things up.

“The team will always improve, I am sure of this. I really like the will of the players to do things.

“The dedication bodes well for me. Everyone needs to be included but they are involved, I have to think about making them more and more of a team.

“It’s always important to win, always and everywhere. I don’t care that Verona is a tough field for Milan, I don’t believe in these things very much.

“The team has to fight to win against anyone. It’s the attitude that makes the difference, on that I am convinced. The boys train with responsibility and motivation.”

Giampaolo addressed questions surrounding the formation, suggesting that the team will not play with wingers on Sunday.

“After seventy days I know how to play, the only thing I did was move Suso and centralise Castillejo.

“I brought Suso closer to his natural position, but Suso can play as a trequartista, I am convinced he can do it.

“In reality we have not changed anything, we work on the same things. I can put a player in a position to express himself better in a certain role but I remain convinced that Suso can play there.”

On Paqueta’s best position, he added: “He is a player who can do both [midfielder and trequartista], I will choose based on the matches.

“Whoever plays as a midfielder must learn to be an attacker. He has the characteristics of a midfielder, so as a playmaker he must learn to move halfway.”

On Piatek’s struggles in front of goal: “I have enjoyed these three days. Piatek does not have to be a footballer who only thinks about attacking the last twenty meters of the goal and playing football that way; he must be a complete player.

“This week he did things in a different way. He is a complete player and must play as a complete player. The goal must not be an obsession, he must think about playing well, the goal then comes accordingly.

“If you play badly you find it more difficult to score, I trust him too.”

Biglia or Bennacer to start? 

“I will play one of the two.”

When will we see Leao and Duarte?

“If I played Leao I would have to leave someone out, same as Duarte.

“Duarte is improving, and is an intelligent boy. Every day he goes to my collaborators to review things, he wants to improve, he progresses.

“The defence is a particular department to change, its time will come, but Musacchio and Romagnoli are doing things right. Musacchio is a strong player and has good leadership, don’t underestimate him.”

On Theo Hernandez’s recovery: “He has recovered well, he has enthusiasm, I like him. He must improve his condition, he won’t play tomorrow.”

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