The international break is over and with the end of the hiatus comes the return of Serie A Femminile. AC Milan Women will recommence their league campaign this weekend with a match against Sassuolo on Saturday.
The game will be played at the Stadio Comunale ‘Enzo Ricci’ is an athletic field in Modena and kickoff time will be at 14:35 CET. Here’s an overview of what you need to know about the match…
The Rossonere squad
Goalkeepers: Alberti, Babb, Giuliani.
Defenders: Agard, Árnadóttir, Codina Panedas, Fusetti, Guagni, Tucceri Cimini.
Midfielders: Adami, Boureille, Grimshaw, Jane, Morleo, Renzotti, Selimhodzic.
Forwards: Bergamaschi, Cortesi, Longo, Miotto, Stapelfeldt, Thomas.
Milan and Sassuolo have met a few times before. The first encounter happened back in October of 2018 and it ended in a 2-2 tie. The two sides then met in January of 2019, and it ended in a lopsided 5-2 victory for the Rossonere. Overall, the two teams have met a total of seven times in the league and Coppa Italia. The Rossonere have won three matches against the Neroverde, while also tying three games. The last match ended with a victory with Sassuolo, however, as the team managed to win by a score of 2-0 at the Vismara.
Milan were disorganized defensively during that game and were also heavily reliant on Valentina Giacinti to unlock the Sassuolo defense. Unfortunately, her actions weren’t successful. The hope now is that the Rossonere have learned their lessons from that game and will not repeat the same mistakes.
The Rossonere will also go into the tie with a reshuffled squad, as they will be missing a few players due to injury. Martina Piemonte will miss the game due to an injury in her left knee. Sara Thrige will also not be convened for this game. However, the fullback will miss the match, not because of an injury, but because they are still in quarantine after playing for Denmark in the Algarve Cup. The Danes were forced to pull out of the tournament prematurely after three of their players and their coach (Lars Søndergaard) tested positive for COVID-19.
Not all hope is lost for Milan, however. The absences will give the chance for other players to take their place. Nina Stapelfeldt and Miriam Longo are more than capable of taking the place of Piemonte in the starting lineup. Linda Tucceri Cimini can also take Thrige’s place in the starting XI, while the new girl, Celeste Boureille, can fill the void left by Christy Grimshaw.
The return of Refiloe Jane from international duty should also bolster the Rossonere’s ranks.
Sassuolo is undergoing an injury crisis of their own, as star forward, Sofia Cantore, suffered a fibular fracture while training with Italy in Portugal. The player was instrumental in the Neroverde’s first victory over Milan back in September of 2021, and the team will surely feel her absence. However, one must also be careful not to underestimate the Modenese, as they still have a few, powerful bows in their quiver.
The team will still deploy the likes of Kamila Dubcová, who scored against Milan last time, along with Lana Clelland, Davina Philtjens, and Benedetta Orsi. Orsi is also coming off a successful campaign with Italy at the Algarve Cup, and she’ll bring an added boost of confidence with her to this match. Then there’s teenage sensation Hayley Bujega, who can be quite the impact sub, and the hard-to-beat Diede Lemey in-between their posts.
Milan, fortunately, has the weapons they need to win this conflict. The key is to see how intelligently they’ll deploy them.
Given the absence of a few, key players for the Rossonere, they appear to be up against it for this game. However, if they play their cards right, they can either nick a point off their opponents, or manage to snatch all three points from them. The trick is to see how Maurizio Ganz will respond to the team’s current injury crisis and whether he’s learned his lesson from the last time these two teams played.
How to watch
The match between Milan and Sassuolo will be the featured game of the week on La7, which means it’ll be broadcast globally on the network without restrictions. It will also be shown live on Milan TV and TimVision if you live in Italy. For the fans who live in the USA, Canada, the UK, Ireland, and Germany, the match will also be shown on Ata Football.
For everyone else, check your local listings.