Official: AC Milan vs. Empoli starting XIs – five changes from Napoli win

By Oliver Fisher -

AC Milan head coach Stefano Pioli has made five changes to his starting line-up for the team to face Empoli compared to the one that beat Napoli on Sunday.

The defensive department is largely the same as Mike Maignan keeps his spot between the posts while Davide Calabria, Fikayo Tomori and Theo Hernandez make up three of the back four, but Malick Thiaw has come in for Simon Kjaer.

The midfield pairing will be Ismael Bennacer and Sandro Tonali, with the Algerian dropping to a deeper role – at least on paper – after playing more advanced in the win at the Maradona last weekend.

Alexis Saelemaekers has come in on the right wing and Ante Rebic on the left, with Brahim Diaz and Rafael Leao having both done individual training this week due to not feeling 100%.

Completing the attacking department is Tommaso Pobega who is down as the attacking midfielder and gets his first start in three months, while Divock Origi gets the nod over Oliver Giroud meaning he and Rade Krunic are being rested.

Official Milan XI (4-2-3-1): Maignan; Calabria, Thiaw, Tomori, Hernández; Bennacer, Tonali; Saelemaekers, Pobega, Rebić; Origi.

Bench: Mirante, Tătăruşanu; Ballo-Touré, Florenzi, Gabbia, Kjær; Adli, Bakayoko, Díaz, Krunić, Vranckx; De Ketelaere, Giroud, Leão, Messias.

Official Empoli XI (4-3-1-2): Perisan; Ebuehi, de Winter, Luperto, Parisi; Fazzini, Marin, Bandinelli; Baldanzi; Caputo, Piccoli.

Bench: Štubljar, Ujkani; Cacace, Stojanović, Walukiewicz; Degli Innocenti, Grassi, Haas, Henderson; Cambiaghi, Destro, Pjaca, Satriano, Vignato.

Tags AC Milan Milan Empoli


  1. I’m not convinced so much rotation is a good idea. It’s better to rotate in the second half after taking the lead.

    1. It will 0-0 (or 0-1) until 65-75 minutes and then Pioli finally realizes we’re not going to score with Saele, Rebic, Origi & Pobega. Let’s hope he reacts soon enough to salvage what is left to salvage. We can’t afford to drop 2-3 points. Again.

  2. Rebic and Origi have got to play well today. They owe a good stretch of games. Rebic hasn’t done anything since the first game of the season.

  3. De Ketelaare still benched on rotation game…. Good job Pioli dont give him or Adli any chances at all let them sit on bench and go join better clubs where they will shine instead.

  4. It’s better to start with our strongest line up and get the lead as early as possible, then rest ’em off. Comparing to introduce ’em later in the match in the position that we have to score. It’s mentally more tiring in the end.

    Rebic is just painful to watch these days.

  5. Well, I wanted something from Rebic and Origi, but they were both poor in the first half. Rebic with a massive chance, but he blasted
    it straight at the keeper. He has been the more visible of the two, without playing well.
    The team has been decent, but there isn’t nearly enough bite in the final third. Pobega will probably be subbed soon, with that yellow card of his. I’d rather Pioli trusted his players, but he usually yanks them. Unless there’s a goal early in the second half, we wiłl soon see Leap.

  6. Hopefully, that should be the last time we see Origi in a Milan shirt. Pathetic would be a generous assessment of his game this evening..

  7. Everyone could see this happening. Why Pioli, are you so naive? Don’t make so many changes when going in against a defensive team. We needed better players to be able to hurt Empolis defence.

  8. You can see how far the gap between the bench milan players. As always Pioli gambling the game. Mister should take the lead first and then rotate the players. Dont change the winning team.

    1. And risks the whole UCL next season. Wise move, reeeeaally wise move… He only needed to play someone else instead of Origi and we would’ve won but no.

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