Official: AC Milan vs. Empoli starting XIs – six changes from Slavia Praha win

By Oliver Fisher -

AC Milan boss Stefano Pioli has made a number of changes to the starting line-up for this afternoon’s game against Empoli compared to the team that beat Slavia Praha.

Milan will be without the injured Tommaso Pobega as he continues his recovery, but also Rafael Leao and Alessandro Florenzi who were booked against Lazio and thus must serve a one-game ban.

Pioli has named a back four with three changes compared to Thursday night: Davide Calabria is in for Florenzi, while Malick Thiaw and Fikayo Tomori are reunited as a pairing, taking the places of Matteo Gabbia and Simon Kjaer. Theo Hernandez completes the back four, with Mike Maignan in goal.

Ismael Bennacer and Tijjani Reijnders are the midfield double pivot, with Ruben Loftus-Cheek – who is Milan’s top scorer in 2024 – playing ahead of them in a more advanced role.

Christian Pulisic remains on the right wing, then there are two alterations to the attack: Noah Okafor takes the place of Leao, while Luka Jovic leads the line giving Olivier Giroud a break.

Official Milan XI (4-2-3-1): Maignan; Calabria, Thiaw, Tomori, Hernandez; Bennacer, Reijnders; Pulisic, Loftus-Cheek, Okafor; Jovic.

Bench: Sportiello, Mirante, Jimenez, Kalulu, Kjaer, Gabbia, Terracciano, Adli, Musah, Chukwueze, Giroud.

Official Empoli XI (4-3-2-1): Caprile; Ismajli, Walukiewicz, Luperto, Pezzella; Gyasi, Fazzini, Maleh; Cambiaghi, Żurkowski; Niang.

Bench: Berisha, Perisan; Bastoni, Bereszyński, Cacace, Ebuehi; Kovalenko; Cancellieri, Caputo, Cerri, Destro, Shpendi.


Tags AC Milan Milan Empoli


  1. Should be enough to beat Empoli, if the attitude is right, that’s a big IF.

    Hopefully Theo and Pulisic can get a rest someday soon before they fall apart.

  2. Gabbia will never get a fair chance under Pioli. He has been waiting on T2 the entire time.No matter the kind of performances he puts in, let him be a mix of Nesta and Maldini, Pioli will never trust him.

    Make no mistake, for all of us who have been excited about his return performances, I’m sad to break it to you, Gabbia is back down the pecking order.

    Pioli is just fixated on having his favourites all the time that he’s simply not interested in the development of other players. Trust of your coach is a big part of your development as a player.

      1. Ted i’d like to think so too but I’m with Bill I get that sneaky suspicion that Gabbia’s usefulness to Pioli has ran it’s course with Tomori and Thiaw back, even though both are rusty

    1. You made this assumption based off one game where much of the team was rotated? Gabbia has been playing every single game since he returned and his last few performances have started to take a hit. While initially he did well, he started to make more mistakes. I don’t think he will be dropped completely though.

  3. Everytime i watch with eng commentators they always talk how ruben has been a fantastic signing and how well he is doing.
    So basic

    1. Lol Ghostus Cheek is good once every 4-5 games….which I’m hoping he’d be good in the Inter game by this rate. And good in the sense that he happens to score seeing as he’s a second striker basically. He isn’t dominant even when eh scores. That being said he had a better second half but he literally was a ghost in the entire first half when we dominated smh. He should be doing way more with his physicality.

  4. Most of yall don’t realize the importance of Adli to this midfield. He seems to be the only midfielder that knows how to play those forward breaking passes to our forwards. At the end of this game, we will hear most of yall saying how useless Jovic is but without services, even Mbappe or Haaland would be useless in this team too. Pioli’s long ball tactics only works with tall players that are not good at using their legs.

  5. Meh… this game is boooooring so far. Little bite from our players. No need to watch 2nd half. I hope we keep the 3 points.

  6. Good half, much better attitude than during the week.
    Okafor and Pulisic have been good.
    RLC is a ghost again.

    If we make changes I hope it is RLC who comes off, perhaps for Chucky, move Pulisic to AM.
    Or maybe bring on Musah and let Pulisic rest.

    If we can get another goal and look comfortable it might be a good game for Kalulu to get a few mins at RB. Calabria has been really off today

  7. pulisic drew a yellow card,sent 3 dangerous crosses and scored a goal,chucky should learn from him..RLC,sigh..maybe other than DM and ST,we also should consider bring a good AMC next season

    1. Pulisic is made for that role, but then we are back to who plays rw?

      If we can get another goal it might be worth giving Chucky some minutes, he really needs to start showing something or he becomes another 30m player out on loan

  8. Utter Domination = 1 goal 🤦‍♂️
    We should wrap this up with two more goals in the second half.
    I fear VAR though. They’ve been iffy this game and looking actively for things to call. There was no doubt for me the goal was inside just from sight and that check on the Puli foul in the box?? Im a little worried

  9. Niang is in love with the grass. Dude just can’t stop lying down. Someone should thell him he’s not on picnic

    1. Makes no sense.
      Calabria having a bad game and got a knock and was he carded
      Also Tomori needs minutes a lot more than calabria, baffling decision

  10. Why did he take off Tomori for Kalulu?
    Much safer to take off calabria or Thiaw!

    Also Reijnders was playing great and Bennacer still very rusty, yet he takes the former off for Musah.

    Fair enough giving Pulisic a rest, though he was doing great.

    1. Those ain’t solid on lcb, I can’t get the logic behind the tomori kalulu sub.

      For Reijnders, he is on a yellow, so a safe sub I guess.

  11. Good subs and the first half was good enough to me with the high press but seems to be dropping back now which is no good.

  12. Baffling stuff. They can somewhat cross from open play but when it’s time for a corner they can’t cross for sh*t. And we got decent jumpers ya know

  13. so-so game..chucky,smh,that big chance around 63″ but he chose to take his frickin time..okafor eventhough he got an assist but still such a big contrast to leao

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