After what feels like an endless break filled with constant drama and an array of exciting signings, the Rossoneri are back in action on Tuesday.
They face FC Lugano at the Stadio di Cornaredo at 19:00 CET, kicking off their preseason campaign following a hectic summer mercato.
With the signings of players like Mateo Musacchio, Franck Kessie, Ricardo Rodriguez, Andre Silva and Andrea Conti, Vincenzo Montella’s side are boosted in their hopes that they can capture one of the four Champions League spots on offer in Serie A this season.
Europa League football will have to suffice in 2017/18, however there is optimism resonating from the Milan camp that hasn’t been matched in a few seasons now.
AC Milan probable XI (4-3-3):
Storari; Abate, Musacchio, Zapata, Rodriguez; Kessie, Montolivo, Calhanoglu; Niang, Bacca, Borini.
Looking at La Gazzetta dello Sport’s predicted XI for the friendly against the Swiss side, there are some noticeable absentees.
New striker Andre Silva will miss out due to being allowed a longer recovery time following his involvement in the Confederations Cup with Portugal, while Alessio Romagnoli, Andrea Conti and Gianluigi Donnarumma will also miss out as they featured for Italy at the U21 European Championships.
That means that new signing Fabio Borini is likely to start with Carlos Bacca (heavily linked with a summer exit) as a centre forward, while Cristian Zapata and Ignazio Abate (who has recovered from a season-ending eye injury) plug the gaps in defence.
GdS have Bonaventura as starting on the left wing, but recent reports suggest he will not take place in the friendly, with M’Baye Niang playing instead.
Lugano are somewhat of an unknown quantity for many Rossoneri fans heading into this friendly fixture, though those with good memory will recall that they did play Inter last preseason, losing 1-0.
The Swiss Super Lig side have qualified directly for the Europa League group stage after a third-placed finish last campaign. This game is their third preseason friendly so far this summer, and they’ve won each one so far, accumulating an aggregate score of 14-1.
With it being a preseason game, it would be silly to try and predict any kind of meaningful result from this game. That said, this will be a good test for Montella’s side ahead of a physically and psychologically demanding season ahead.