Milan had a tough evening yesterday as Atalanta managed to beat them by three goals to nil. In other words, they will have to bounce back as soon as possible, and their next opponent is Inter in the Coppa Italia.
The Rossoneri failed to live up to their usual standard and were outplayed for most of the game, meaning there are no excuses for their performance. Instead, they will have to recharge their batteries and hope to knock out Inter in the Coppa Italia.
Although the game is very important, not just confidence-wise but also to advance in the tournament, it would be wise of Stefano Pioli to rotate some players. After all, the ones who started against Atalanta didn’t get much done.
Therefore, we can probably expect to see a lot of changes and below I’ve listed the ideal XI that the manager should field. Of course, it remains to be seen what the indications from the papers will be tomorrow and on Tuesday.
GK: Ciprian Tatarusanu. There isn’t much debate on this front as Gigio Donnarumma is suspended. The Romanian international did well last time out and made the decisive penalty save on the shootout.
RB: Diogo Dalot. The Man Utd loanee has got a decent amount of playing time but only on as a left-back, which isn’t his favourite position. Therefore, and also because Davide Calabria could use some rest, it’s a good opportunity for the Portuguese.
CB: Fikayo Tomori or Mateo Musacchio. Simon Kjaer returned from injury recently and with the games being so close to each other, it might be wise to rest him. In that case, Tomori or Musacchio can do the job at the back (most likely the latter).
CB: Alessio Romagnoli. The captain was suspended against Atalanta and will thus have plenty of energy for this game. He wouldn’t want to miss the derby either, and his presence will be important in the back four.
LB: Theo Hernandez. He wasn’t exactly great last night and Tuesday’s clash will be a good opportunity to redeem himself. With Dalot potentially starting on the right-hand side, Pioli doesn’t have many options for the left.
CM: Soualiho Meite. Pioli tried to play with the Frenchman as the trequartista against Atalanta and that experiment completely failed. It was a big tactical mistake and although Rade Krunic is also available, we need to see Meite in his usual position so we can make a proper judgement.
CM: Franck Kessie. Ismael Bennacer is still out injured and Sandro Tonali hasn’t been too convincing, although he has picked himself up lately. Kessie, on the other hand, is very consistent and will be important for this clash.
RW: Alexis Saelemaekers. The Belgian was suspended against Atalanta and will play from the first minute on Tuesday, replacing Samu Castillejo. His work in both phases of the game is extremely important for the team, so his presence is a boost.
CAM: Brahim Diaz. The Real Madrid loanee played well against Cagliari and certainly deserved to start against Atalanta, but then Pioli opted for Meite. The difference was seen in the second half and Milan need a player like him in Hakan Calhanoglu’s absence.
LW: Ante Rebic. He made an appearance off the bench last night and will need a bit more time on the pitch to get back to full fitness. Nevertheless, his presence is important. You could also make a case for Rafael Leao, but it depends on his condition.
ST: Mario Mandzukic. Zlatan Ibrahimovic played the full 90 against Atalanta and although he has recovered from his injury, Pioli has to be a bit cautious. It’s a derby, so the Swede probably wants to play, but Mandzukic looked in decent condition to start this time.