MN: Probable Milan XI vs. Slavia Praha – Uncertainty in the middle of the pitch

By Ben Dixon -

The importance of AC Milan’s clash against Slavia Praha in the Europa League Round of 16 cannot be understated. As a result, it is pivotal that Stefano Pioli gets his team selection spot on, and decisions are already being made. 

So much relies on the first leg of this fixture, but this cannot show in any way on Thursday evening.

The situation is worryingly clear. Inter are almost guaranteed to win the Scudetto at this point, and Milan’s failure to enter the Champions League knockout stages soured the season. However, losing the first leg of the fixture against Slavia Praha would be monumental.

Reports have suggested that Pioli’s job will be decided by European performances, therefore, every game has to be coached perfectly from here on, starting with the team selections. As MilanNews reports, there are some decisions to make.

The defence looks likely to change once again. Mike Maignan will start in goal, and Theo Hernandez and Matteo Gabbia will retain their places on the left of defence. However, on the right, Malick Thiaw will be welcomed back into the defence. Furthermore, Davide Calabria could be welcomed to the bench to be rested for Alessandro Florenzi, given he is suspended for Sunday’s fixture.

In the midfield, Yacine Adli will start, but it remains to be seen who will partner him, with Tijjani Reijnders and Ismael Bennacer battling to partner him.

The attacking four will not change. Christian Pulisic and Rafael Leao will operate on the wings, and Ruben Loftus-Cheek will look to influence the game from behind Olivier Giroud.

Tags AC Milan Stefano Pioli


    1. Reijnders has had all season to play.

      He performed poorly at AM, couldn’t pass or assist, can’t shoot. So Pioli had to swap RLC up there.

      He was then moved back to DM, in the double pivot and it’s even worse. He can’t defend. He can’t win the ball back. He can’t break between the lines. His passing is still poor.

      Why do people keep overvaluing him?

      1) Go look at his stats and passing rates on stats website. They are horrendous. So are all of his other stats. Losing the ball, yep. bad. Dispossesions? nope. Through balls or assists? Nope. Shots on target? NO.

      2) Provide us a 4-5 min highlight reel of Reijnders and his accomplishments on Milan. Any video will do. You can’t, because he doesn’t have 4-5 mins of incredible plays.

      He’s a pass merchant. All he does is shuttle the ball back and forth. He doesn’t contribute anything else. If you say he does, PROVE IT by posting the video or stats.

      1. So, you hate one of the best scouts in the world and a midfielder who turned down Barcelona and could walk into practically any team in Europe……. Anyone else?

      2. 💯
        The midfield loose possession so easily its scary, against Monza, against Atlanta and against Napoli.

        So many misplaced and lazy passes which put the defence under too much pressure.

        Opposition are visibly shocked at times against us in midfield because it is just too easy!, tactically it has gone to ‘pot’ in the midfield and that is what has blighted our season not the injury crisis, because we have dropped points against lesser opposition who were no way near us on paper despite our injuries.

        This could cost us a deep run in the Euro League.

        We are winning games on ‘moments’, not on team performances, simply because the midfield is missing, this is the reason Pioli should go as under DeZebri, Motta and Conte this could never be a problem

      3. Interesting.

        Of course he’s been an ever present in a relatively successful season that is also his first at Milan and in a new league, after he arrived with 12 others.

        So he’s doing well in the circumstances… our most of the players.

        It’s a mess. The squad is a mess. And we have a fair bit of work to do to get it down to a manageable size and a sense of cohesion.

        We can’t really afford to press reset AGAIN with the midfield. We still need a striker and AM and they’re about 100m.

        Despite your lies/damned lies/statistics/football statistics I’d be tempted to keep him for consistency and build on it.

        There’s been worse players who have won things.

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