Official: AC Milan vs. Cagliari starting XIs – Pioli benches the stars

By Isak Möller -

AC Milan will square off with Cagliari at 20:45 CEST this evening and following six games without a win, they will be eager to get back to winning ways. As confirmed by the official eleven, Stefano Pioli has decided to bench several stars. 

It has been a tough month for the Rossoneri, first getting knocked out against Roma in the Europa League and then losing the derby against Inter. The 3-3 draw against Genoa was far from good last time out as well, and now a positive response is needed.

The rumours of the last 24 hours were confirmed as the official eleven was announced this evening, with Pioli benching the likes of Davide Calabria, Fikayo Tomori, Theo Hernandez and Rafael Leao. It’s a chance for the others to step up, in other words.

Pierre Kalulu will surely be eager to prove himself after a season that has been ruined by injuries, with his future up in the air as well.

Official Milan XI (4-3-3): Sportiello; Kalulu, Gabbia, Thiaw, Florenzi; Musah, Reijnders, Bennacer; Chukwueze, Giroud, Pulisic.

Bench: Nava, Torriani; Calabria, Caldara, Hernández, Terracciano, Tomori; Adli, Pobega, Zeroli; Jović, Leão, Okafor.

Official Cagliari XI (4-5-1): Scuffet; Zappa, Mina, Dossena, Obert; Nández, Sulemana, Deiola, Prati, Luvumbo; Shomurodov.

Bench: Aresti, Radunović; Azzi, Di Pardo, Hatzidiakos, Wieteska; Mancosu, Oristanio, Viola; Kingstone, Lapadula, Pavoletti, Petagna.

Tags AC Milan Cagliari


  1. Only missing point is Okafor for Giroud and Terra for Kalulu but I don’t mind Kalulu much. Good IX. Let’s see how they are instructed to play and move. Don’t switch the fullbacks to the midfield and Musah at RB please.

  2. Gabbia is having a poor game, despite almost no pressure from Cagliari outside of a couple of counter-attacks. He keeps getting burned on those or finding himself out of position.

  3. I also don’t understand the selection of old, tired, departing Giroud over Okafor or Jovic. Pioli can’t leave soon enough.

    1. I hate seeing a coach of any team treat a player like that.
      He could have played LW but probably should be playing striker instead of that fossil who is leaving.

      I would argue Okafor is perhaps our most exciting signing of last summer, he is fast, dribbles and scores and his attitude has been excellent. He is still a bit of an unknown quantity as he has been given no consistency in terms of game time or position.

      Pioli could leave with his head held high, but recent weeks have just added insult to injury.

      Let’s not forget we should also be playing Terraciano, Zerolli etc.

      But the Okafor snub is just classic Pioli, a stubborn old goat

    1. “In honour of Mother’s Day, both sets of players will have their maternal surname on the back of the jersey.”

  4. You can put the whole starting Eleven of Man city or Real Madrid in Pioli’s team and we will still have the same issue. The tactics is the problem. We’re so boring to watch. Can’t create no chance when we’re passing side to side and backwards. Smh

    1. Well, also don’t have much to play for in this game specifically, but overall it is correct that Pioli is tactically limited.

  5. If you saw previous Napoli Bologna match, you can saw that Bologna always has this tight and close space among players, on and off the ball. While us, leave the too many spaces between players. We’re simply not compact.

    Without the need of high press, Bologna always seems to be able to close down and brought a good amount of pressure (with 4-5 players) everytime Napoli had the ball.

    1. That’s precisely what I thought as I watched that game. For example, their second goal, they had four players evenly spaced along the 6 yard box, waiting for the cross. If it was us, they’d all be going for the ball at the same time and place. Players always moved into space, particularly between the lines.

      But we’re not getting Motta. He’s going elsewhere. We dithered on Pioli, giving him more chances until there were no more chances left to give. Meanwhile, other teams have made their moves…

      1. I sincerely hope Motta not going anywhere tho. Not to Juve, and not even to Milan (altho it’ll be great for us). He should stay for at least one more season at Bologna; with a short term contract obv. Just to proof himself and Bologna to the European level. It’ll be a great challenge for him. Surely Bologna will never look the same without him. And it’ll be a shame for Italian league if we have the dismantled Bologna team in the UCL.

          1. Yup, what Alonso did this season is an absolute miracle. Excited to see how he can keep up for the next season. Same goes to Motta.

  6. This is the benacer we are waiting season, when he does the pre season, he’ll be influential if we keep him

    1. I have been adamant he is our best midfielder, class is permanent, form is temporary.
      Those clowns should be noted as knowing 0 about football.
      Thiaw the young man who was stellar last year and Kalulu the gem are also on their hitlist. I pray we don’t lose them

  7. I can t wait until tomorrows papers come out with the correct player evaluations !!! BENNACER MOTM , Haha what a joke, watch the whole game ,Slow on his feet…….so so slow. SJF, WHAT ARE YOU SMOKING ?? SELL HIM !!!!

    1. I’m smoking Rollie’s!

      Bennacer is a proven world class midfielder.
      Or don’t you remember?
      You don’t win AFCON and get named player of the tournament ahead of Mahrez, Mane etc without being top level

Comments are closed

Serie A Standings

Live football scores . Current table, fixtures & results.