Official: Bologna vs. AC Milan starting XIs – three summer signings start

By Oliver Fisher -

AC Milan head coach Stefano Pioli has named his first starting line-up of the 2023-24 season, and three of the new arrivals have been given the nod.

The only players who are not available for Milan are Ismael Bennacer who has a long-term knee injury and will miss a few more months, and Yunus Musah whose red card suspension from his last game at Valencia carries over.

Pioli has chosen to go with Mike Maignan in goal as expected with Malick Thiaw and Fikayo Tomori as the centre-back pairing and Theo Hernandez at left-back.

There was some speculation during the week suggesting Pierre Kalulu would start with Davide Calabria having just come back from a muscle issue, but the captain has been given the nod.

Rade Krunic will continue in his new-found role at the base of the new-look midfield three, with Ruben Loftus-Cheek ahead on his right and Tijjani Reijnders on his left as the two mezzali.

Christian Pulisic is preferred over Samuel Chukwueze on the right wing by virtue of having had more time with the group. Rafael Leao is down as the left winger, and Olivier Giroud up front.

Official Milan XI (4-3-3): Maignan; Calabria, Thiaw, Tomori, Theo Hernandez; Loftus-Cheek, Krunic, Reijnders; Pulisic, Giroud, Leao.

Bench: Mirante, Sportiello, Florenzi, Kalulu, Kjaer, Bartesaghi, Adli, Pobega, Zeroli, Chukwueze, Romero, Okafor, Colombo.

Official Bologna XI (4-3-3): Skorupski; Posch, Lucumì, Beukema, Lykogiannis; Ferguson, Dominguez, Moro; Aebischer, Zirkzee, Ndoye.

Bench: Bagnolini, Ravaglia, Sosa, Orsolini, Bonifazi, Corazza, El Azzouzi, De Silvestri, Van Hooijdonk, Fabbian, Urbanski.

Tags AC Milan Bologna Milan


  1. When we had the players for 4-3-3 we played 4-2-3-1, now when we have the players for 4-2-3-1 we play 4-3-3 lol.
    Ps. CDK has been in Atalanta less then a week and he already got the chance to prove himself. Chukwueze on the other hand is still not ready according to Pioli despite being the best RW in the team by far…

    1. For 4231 you need to have 2 very athletic defensive midfielders who can cover a lot of ground.
      How does Milan have the players to play 4231 when they don’t have even 1 midfielder that can play in double pivot?

      1. Wasn’t that Loftus Cheek best trait ? Him being atlethic and strong lol. Rejndiers and Musa also played in the double pivot in 4-2-3-1 in their previous teams, + Krunic. Worst thing with 4-3-3 is that one of Pulisic or Chuk needs to be benched, so we are not using the full capacity of the team with this formation.

    2. Chuk played for Nigeria end of June, preseason and friendly with Villareal in July and with Milan in August. But he’s not ready…

  2. As i see it its pretty paramount to get 2 wins in the first two matches as we will have some fairly tough fixtures right around the corner so we need to build some confidence from the get go so we wont arrive for the more difficult matches on paper with wobbly legs by then.
    Not to belittle bologna or for that matter torino in the following match but hopefully we can win with 2 or 3 goals margin in both matches but we will see as it isnt really like there is any easy matches in the league to begin with.

    1. Well if Bologna’s home defence last year is the same as this year, we’re in for a looong night. We gotta score early and open then up

      1. considering they after few sconds of the match hit our crossbar you might be right 🙁 but lets see we should be able to win fairly comfortable.

    1. Pulisic has been with the squad since before the USA tour, and thus has the advantage of being in the system for that much longer and gelling with his squad mates for that much longer. It’s not hard to understand. Chukwueze will be starting soon enough.

    2. So what say ye? Was it good to start Pul now or not? Have you imagined the suffering our opponents will be subjected to when Pul is subbed for Chuk in the second half? That’s gonna be a crazy attack the full 90 mins +, so calm down, Jesus is Lord. 🤣

  3. Super exiting, can’t wait.
    Let’s hope we start with a win, since it’s kind of a new era, it would be even more important.
    Good luck to the team!

  4. This coach is just too sturborn. Why is Samuel chukweze on the bench. I can see him getting sacked this season because of chukweze. Sturborn pioli. Forza Milan.

  5. Milan are just about to play the FIRST MATCH of the season and people already complain about chuku not being a starter.
    Ffs, milan will have a lot of matches to play, everyone will have their chances to play.
    Pulisic got the nod because he joined earlier and has played with Milan “first team” several times.

    1. Every team has that player who becomes a legend by not playing… Last year it was Adli, year before Gauge, let’s see who it’ll be this year.

      More importantly though, let’s go! Last team to kick off in the big leagues in Europe!

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