Di Marzio: Pioli ponders another formation change and return to what he knows best

By Oliver Fisher -

AC Milan have found themselves in yet another difficult moment and this has given rise to speculation that Stefano Pioli could again change formations.

Gianluca Di Marzio recalls for Pazza Di Fanta how at the beginning of 2023 with the team leaking goals all over the shop, Pioli changed formation abandoning the 4-2-3-1 which was a trademark of the Scudetto win in favour of a more compact 3-4-2-1.

That seemed to restore confidence in the rearguard but the defeats against Fiorentina and Udinese plus the draw against Salernitana means that another change could be on the cards over the break.

The 4-2-3-1 that led Milan to win the Scudetto this year seemed to be a less perfect mechanism in the current campaign as the collective did not seem as organised while individuals struggled to express themselves, but now the new tactical system seems to no longer bring the desired results either as the last three goals have seen goals leaked and very little going forward.

After the break, Pioli could consider returning to 4-2-3-1 with Davide Calabria back as a right-back with Theo Hernandez on the other side, and it would help Rafael Leao by in theory giving him more space to operate in out wide.

Rade Krunic could play as an attacking midfielder to give more balance and better link the midfield and attack, which Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Olivier Giroud could therefore be alternated or even play on the field together in emergency situations.

Tags AC Milan Stefano Pioli


  1. The fact is use krunic,tonali,Ben in middle play Diaz ,messina,cdk in the 433,when winnings u can change to 4231 but let the coach start playing vrancxx or bakayoko in the middle for physicality, then play kjear and tomori u can be subbing kjaer for Thiaw along the line

  2. Calabria’s days as our starting Right back are over. There is no way that he starts over kalulu ,even though he is our captain and Milan through and through he is average on the pitch. If Pioli finally plays 3 midfielders it should be a back 4 of Theo, Tomori, Thiaw, Kalulu.

  3. Why not use it fluidly? We literally have the players to change formation mid-game. Depending on who we play we can adjust as needed. Juve used to do that back in the day and it worked a treat

  4. Krunic as attacking midfield????? If that happens , means that pioli is even more stupid than what everyone realized.

    1. It’s already been done half a dozen times already. It technically adds a more defensive midfielder into the mix. Not much different than a 4-3-3 other than Krunic would be pushed up a bit.

      1. That never worked. Krunic is better utilized as a dm not pushed up. Yes it adds bodies up front than our defense will be exposed again so nothing changed.

  5. Calabria is the main reason they had to change the formation in the first place. His defending was atrocious. I don’t mind going back to the 4-2-3-1 but play Kalulu at RB. And Krunic is not an attacking midfielder. He has no offensive skills.

  6. I’ve been crying out to play 433 for ages, play bako as cdm protect our center backs and we won’t get overrun in midfield, plus his height be good defending set pieces.

  7. I still don’t understand why Tonali still play match when kjaer is left on the bench

    Like all he knows how to do is to block opposition from touching the ball
    He no longer win ball for the team Anymore,I think he will do well In the bench or as a substitute player

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