Official: Empoli vs. AC Milan starting XIs – seven changes from Cagliari win

By Oliver Fisher -

AC Milan head coach Stefano Pioli has made a number of changes from the team that beat Cagliari in the Coppa Italia in midweek for today’s early kick-off against Empoli.

After naming a team with the likes of Antonio Mirante, Jan-Carlo Simic, Alex Jimenez, Luka Romero and Chaka Traore for the cup victory over the Sardinians, Pioli has reverted to type amid a continued injury crisis.

Mike Maignan will be in goal with Davide Calabria at right-back and Alessandro Florenzi at left-back, then Theo Hernandez will be used as a centre-back again alongside Simon Kjaer who comes back into the side.

Tijjani Reijnders and Yacine Adli are expected to be the two deeper-lying midfield players, given that Ismael Bennacer is now away at the African Cup of Nations, with Ruben Loftus-Cheek a bit further forward in the No.10 role.

In attack Pioli has gone with what is clearly now his preferred front three, meaning Christian Pulisic will be on the right wing, Rafael Leao on the opposite flank and Olivier Giroud down the middle.

Luka Jovic will be able to lend a hand off the bench hoping to continue his red hot form, while Yunus Musah is available to come on too, as is Traore after his goal in the Coppa Italia in midweek.

Official Milan XI (4-2-3-1): Maignan; Calabria, Kjaer, Theo, Florenzi; Reijnders, Adli; Pulisic, Loftus-Cheek, Leao; Giroud.

Bench: Nava, Mirante, Jovic, Romero, Gabbia, Chaka Traorè, Jimenez, Musah, Simic, Zeroli, Bartesaghi.

Official Empoli XI (4-3-3): Caprile; Ebuehi, Walukiewicz, Ismajli, Luperto; Baldanzi, Grassi, Maleh; Gyasi, Cancellieri, Caputo.

Bench: Perisan, Berisha, Shpendi, Marin, Cancellieri, Ranocchia, Destro, Maldini, Indragoli, Sodero.


Tags AC Milan Empoli Milan


  1. I hope these senior players show some desire and leadership, which has been lacking against the smaller teams.
    Its something the youth players have shown in spades when given a chance.

    I’m honestly surprised that Simic is not given the opportunity to continue his positive moment.
    Also why are we not taking advantage of Jovic hot streak? He has to be the priority in terms of building his form and confidence. Especially now we are in January and we have a decision to make as whether to sign a striker or not.
    Play him

  2. I said it early he has no trust in youth system, he will always say they need time to adapt and all till he is forced to and only play them in the italian cup

  3. Nobody likes passing to Giroud when we’re on a counter cos he can’t dribble or know what to do with the ball when he traps it. We’re benching a good striker for this guy. SMH

    Btw, this Jimenez kid must be bought out. Even if Madrid has a buy back clause of 20M we will still make gain. The guy is very good. Doesn’t even play like an 18 yr old.

  4. But the only thing is that the coach should also give Romero playing time in the league but all is going smoothly in Milan

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