AC Milan head coach Stefano Pioli has one major selection doubt ahead of tomorrow night’s Supercoppa Italiana game against Inter, and it involves the defensive department.
According to MilanNews, the predicted formation for Milan against their city rivals features on real battle, which is whether Simon Kjaer or Pierre Kalulu will accompany Fikayo Tomori in central defence.
Pioli will solve the doubts in the coming hours, evaluating both the physical condition of the two players in question and of course the tactical impact that it would have to choose the Dane or the Frenchman.
The Kalulu-Tomori pairing is still the first choice for Pioli as they have earned the right to be given they managed 8 clean sheets in the last 10 league games en route to the Scudetto. This season however, thanks to Maignan’s injuries and the crisis at right-back, the defence has been a bit more disjointed.
With Kjaer on the pitch, the Rossoneri have conceded just one goal this season against Sampdoria, when Milan were down to 10 men. Then the Dane has been struggling to get back to 100% after sustaining a problem at the World Cup, but now he is back and ready to contribute.
There are tactical reasons that Pioli might go with Kjaer. For one, he is a classic defender, who plays man to man, is very strong on crosses and set pieces, which has been a weak point in the Rossoneri’s defence in recent weeks. In addition to that, Kjaer’s distribution and balls out to the wings could exploit the space behind Inter’s 3-5-2.
In terms of the psychological aspect, Kjaer has experience, leadership and charisma which are nothing short of fundamental in this type of match. The battle is on, but if Kjaer were to confirm that he feels ready to play from the start, he is likely to start.