AC Milan head coach Stefano Pioli could decide to use a three-man defence from the first minute against Napoli in one week, a report claims.
Rafael Leao’s expulsion at the start of the second half last night against Sampdoria forced Milan to change formation, with Fikayo Tomori coming on to join Pierre Kalulu and Simon Kjaer in a three-man rearguard. As SempreMilan.it recall, Pioli and Kjaer had their say on this tactical option.
Pioli’s said to Milan TV: “The three-man defence? I have had this situation in mind here since this summer, we have five central defenders and all five are strong, Simon is a player of great charisma. I would have liked to try it this summer, it was my idea but the other players came later and Simon wasn’t 100% straight away. It is not a problem for the players, there is this possibility: it depends on the matches and we will see when to use it.”
Kjaer added his thoughts: “We have many players who could do well with that system. Perhaps Leao would be in trouble a little at this moment with the quality he has, even if every now and then he doesn’t track back so much, it makes a difference. I know the coach is thinking about it, but with so many games to play, it’s not easy to try new things. It will be up to the coach to decide.”
Now the suggestion seems to be pretty public that Milan could line up with three defenders in a 3-5-2 or a 3-4-1-2. It would certainly help by pushing Theo Hernandez up to wing-back in order to heighten his attacking responsibilities and give him a bit more freedom, especially with Leao not there to offer his usual threat on that flank and Ante Rebic also likely to miss the game.
Davide Calabria, Sergino Dest or even Alexis Saelemaekers could then be the right wing-back, with Ismael Bennacer and Sandro Tonali certainly in the midfield, either in a double pivot or joined by Tommaso Pobega, Aster Vranckx or perhaps Yacine Adli in a 3-5-2.
Otherwise, it would be the Italian and Algerian in the double pivot with Charles De Ketelaere or Brahim Diaz ahead as the playmaker, and up front it could well be Olivier Giroud and Divock Origi used.