MN: Milan’s probable XI to face Empoli – Brahim Diaz and Kessie to the bench

By Oliver Fisher -

AC Milan head coach Stefano Pioli is expected to make changes in each outfield department for tomorrow night’s game against Empoli, a report claims.

According to MilanNews, the Rossoneri will be without Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Rafael Leao, Ante Rebic and Pietro Pellegri for the game so the only natural centre-forward option is Olivier Giroud, while Davide Calabria and Simon Kjaer will also be out as is common knowledge by now.

Theo Hernandez has been struggling with fever for the past week and did not train with the team right up until the game against Napoli on Sunday, forcing him to miss it, but everything suggests he should be back for the game in Tuscany.

The report claims it will be Mike Maignan in goal, Alessandro Florenzi at right-back, Fikayo Tomori and Alessio Romagnoli as the centre-backs and Theo Hernandez at left-back. In midfield a double pivot of Sandro Tonali and Ismael Bennacer are tipped to get the nod again.

Junior Messias and Alexis Saelemaekers should be on the right and left wing respectively and Olivier Giroud is likely to take the spot of the injury Ibrahimovic up front. There is doubt about the playmaker role, with Krunic just edging the battle over the out of form Brahim Diaz at present.

Probable Milan XI (4-2-3-1): Maignan; Florenzi, Tomori, Romagnoli, Theo; Tonali, Bennacer (Kessie); Messias, Krunic (Diaz), Saelemaekers; Giroud.

READ MORE: Gift from Ibra, competition and €20m price tag – latest on Milan’s pursuit of Omeragic

Tags AC Milan Empoli Milan


  1. Krunic as a playmaker.😂 Pioli’s love affair with Krunic is one of the great mysteries of the world. Give Maldini a chance. He’s been good when he’s played. Pioli’s inability to play anything other than the 4-2-3-1 despite not having the personnel available is really hurting this team. He has no imagination.

    1. It reminds of the Love affair between Pioli and Lucas Biglia, for which Bennacer suffered from… Stupid coach kept using the dead-horse, and Biglia’s presence cost us at least 10points that season…. If Pioli doesn’t get the right players to play his fantasy formation, then he certainly won’t last on the bench

    1. Bro, he has been subpar in every position that the coach has tried him. Except the Goalkeeping role…just maybe he wouldn’t be bad there, who knows?

  2. I would rather try Bennacer or Tonali as the number 10. Krunic and Diaz offered too little for too long. Maybe it is time to try something new.

  3. Still one of the best Milan players Kalulu is not yet convincing to Mr Pioli and preferred the big failure Florenze same story in handling Hauge case
    Not only the worst player among Milan squad in the period of two years Krunic is Pioli best choice I wonder if Pioli sees Krunic as another Pirlo or Ancelloti or Pioli has a philosophy that will be proved after Krunic retire
    For Diaz he should work in his physical strength he has similar hight and quality of Papu Gomez and Insigni but he looks like school boy lost in th field when he get any physical contact
    Kessie distract by contract and poor management weather sign him or leave him in the bench and rely on proper Milan players let no forget the ups and down performance in midfield players due to Pioli wrong tactics in use different players in the wings which causes more burden to midfield players to correct and cover repeated mistakes of castiligo, Diaz, Messias, Krunic, Gerou, and Leao

  4. When will they sack Pioli? The man isn’t flexible tactically. Unlike other Coach who in the middle of the game changes tactics to win games Pioli never does. That’s why we keep on losing and the game again FC Porto show his weakness now most coach are using it against us. He has yet to come with a solution. Injury hurting so do those this coach with his inability to adapt.

  5. You all here talk too much, neither pioli nor krunic should be blamed for anything……pioli will not kill himself, no caoch for the past 11 years have done what he have done, he deserves every chance he is getting now……Pioli can not do anything now, all his players are injured, which formation do you want him to play? Do you think this is PlayStation? Didnt spalletti play his 4231 even with injuries? Changing formation when half of first team is out and you have to play every three days, no time to train or change, IT IS NOT POSSIBLE, that will disrupt alot of things….There are no attackers, even our fullbacks are not 100%, the defence have gone through alot of rotation, even the team play with new faces every match, it is not easy…….this is not FIFA PLAYSTATION, we have the highest number of reoccurrent injury in Europe, so attacking the coach now is very stupid, he did nothing…..the last match, we had only two available for wingers(castillejo just returned), so he started with krunic to save one winger, he can not kill himself…even in this empoli match, krunic is the only senior player that we have as AM, and If pioli decides to play 4321 then krunic will play, he is fit so let him play…..This maldini you all are shouting his name is not ready, any Milan fan who have watched him will know that he can’t sustain the pressure now the team is losing, he is not ready, he can be subbed but I will not chose him over krunic now, at least there are some matches krunic did well……Pioli always have a dip every season and injuries have always been the reason but he always comes out strong, nobody knows this man’s capabilities without injuries, what we need is to recover our players and regain our mojo……attacking the team now will not help anyone, Milan will come out strong and scudetto is not far from us…..Forza milan

    1. Pioli should take some blame for injuries because he can reduce the intensity and AC will not win the scudetto because the team lacks the depth and quality that is required. I agree with most of the thing you are saying tho. My prediction 1-0.

    2. If Maldini will not get the chances he will waste his talent on the bench.

      He did not disappoint so far but stopped getting chances. Even when our whole attack collapsed – if not now, when?

      Loan him out to Premier League, no point in keeping him here if Pioli loves 28yo average Krunic

      If Maldini still plays only minutes in spring, i would request a transfer if I were him

    3. @Kossy you almost sound like you know what you’re talking about except that you don’t. Being tactically flexible is One thing. Look at Guadiola for instance, last year he had a crisis with a traditional stricter with Aguero injured alongside Gabriel Jesus another example is Klopp last year with his defenders getting injured he had to endure with Fabinho and Henderson has CB. Guess what his ability to adapt still help him win matches. That’s the difference between a great coach and average coach. They play more games in PL than Serie A.
      Before spewing none sense do more research.

    4. @ Kossy.
      Pioli is a stubborn coach who isn’t open minded when it comes to change of playing style or players. That’s is facts. A good coach works with what they have untill they can get more players. Pochetino made UCL finals with Spurs when Spurs went a whole year quite on the transfer market. Yes we have issues with injuries that’s when you look at your youth and work with your resources and show your true abilities to bring the best out of your players plain and simple. It’s not Playstation, it’s better than Playstation because it’s not program people can learn and adapt better. Thanks for the clarification

  6. True and well explained. We actually didnt have any options right at that time for left winger. Krunic played good as striker so pioli thought he might be good as left winger. Tho he didnt prove and brahim also failed so i think hes done well keeping krunic AM. It is his natural position. The issue was brahim. Just have patience. Milan needs some good midfielder in january thats all. We have ibra, rebic, leao also in attack coming back we have sub in giroud. Krunic might be our AM maybe idk but brahim broke our trust. I understand what happend all this time. He used to score from 6 yards that why we are so heart broken. Kessie also broke our heart. Pioli is saying theoo is doing good defensively i hope he proves in empoli match. There should be no chaos. Forza milan

  7. Milan failure to keep Calhanoglu, and failure to sign one of Vlasic, Isco or James Rodriguez to replace him; is what is hurting this team period.

  8. Mr Pioli ia nice guy but but as a coach he is limited to get ideas for winning the scudetto it shown clearly unable to improve the quality of players neither get them in stable mood to function with almost stable performance also he cost the club to lose Money by not have an influence on players leavening for free or players the club not able to sell them as they look useless for the market due to his tactics he is also has no say on the market as he wish to stay in big club like Milan to make a name and improve his carrier like Montella story.. it’s wasting time for winning trophies and economical to the club to keep him like this he need helps from intelligent people in his job or he should go.

  9. Yeah selling calhanoglu was a mistake. But he didnt prove playing good did he? And brahim was insane and young at that time. Situation was like that. For signings we dont have money and cant do anything about it. Just chill i hope players understand they have to not get injured. If we get scudetto(which not that unlikely just chill) we can make lots of money and buy some back up players. This would make our team solid for UCL. Just this matters of injuries be solved we are good this season.

  10. Regarding Theo’s absence due to fever, so he had fever for over a week and like, is that normal?? Does anyone else have a fever for an entire week and longer?? I mean, if I had fever for 3 days, I would freak the hell out, like that’s not normal. Idk, the whole thing is very strange to say the least, lol.

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