Sky: The latest from Milanello as Pioli prepares six changes for Milan-Empoli

By Isak Möller -

Stefano Pioli has decided to make six changes to the starting eleven for tomorrow’s clash against Empoli, a report claims. A couple of suspensions, as well as the improved conditions of the recently injured, are behind this. 

Milan are on a two-game winning run after beating Lazio and Slavia Praha, but they have been far from brilliant on the pitch. Therefore, Pioli will be hoping for something more from his players against Empoli tomorrow afternoon.

According to Sky Italia, as cited by MilanNews, the manager is set to make six changes to the starting eleven. Davide Calabria, Malick Thiaw and Fikayo Tomori will all start at the back, with Milan set to have their ‘regular’ backline for the first time in a long while.

In midfield, Ismael Bennacer will replace Yacine Adli, teaming up with Tijjani Reijnders who will be looking for another goal. Up front, Noah Okafor will start in place of the suspended Rafael Leao and Luka Jovic should also get the chance.

Christian Pulisic will keep his spot, though, as Pioli doesn’t want to risk messing up the balance as he did against Monza.

Probable Milan XI (4-2-3-1): Maignan; Calabria, Thiaw, Tomori, Hernandez; Bennacer, Reijnders; Pulisic, Loftus-Cheek, Okafor; Jovic.

Tags AC Milan Empoli Stefano Pioli


  1. 2 many changes again. does he need to swap both cbs, is gabbia tired? Tomori just got back, he is rusty. And whats the point in not playing Adli?

    1. conidering we played late thursday evening and will play against empoli sunday 15 00 european time and also has leao and florenzi suspended i think the xi isnt too big of a rewamp to be fair and the players suposedly starting should know eachother well enough to play next to eachother. My beiggest worry which isnt to big either is what thiaw will turn up on the match day.

      1. i get you rest kjaer and giroud. i get leao has yellows. calabria or florenzi its the same, dosent matter. swaping more is overkill.

        Empoli has the second worst atk fo the leage so we’ll probs be ok

        1. But still its played roughly 2.5 day after the one against slavia and empoli has been able to rest for a week. In the end though we should be able win fairly comfortable while even playing at a packed san siro.

    2. I think Musah should get a start. He has the work rate and has partnered well with Reijnders before.

      Maybe put Bennacer as AM

  2. Everytime I read articles a saying that he is about to make 4+ changes for a game it ends up in a draw or loss for us

  3. We are deep in the season now with crucial games so rotation is needed. And why shouldn’t he? They are high level professionals and were brought exactly for this kind of situations.

    When Klopp puts 70% of U21 lads on the pitch everyone hails him but when Pioli puts on first teamers you people lose your sh*t.

    We’re talking about the likes of Chuk and Okafor who are suppose to be huge improvements over the likes of Messias and Saelemaekers. And if they cannot perform we needed then they’re bust.

    Waiting for those “how can you compare Klopp to Pioli” comments like that was the point of my rant🍿

    1. Rotation is one thing, but with Pioli is either too much or too little. He plays the same starting eleven for like 2 months and all of a sudden makes 6 subs. Players were brought for this, but they also need more time together. That’s why he needs to sometimes start Okafor with Giroud and Pulisic and sometimes Jovic with Leao and Pulisic,… so they can get used to the team.
      You say Klopp is not criticized for rotating 70% of the team ? But Klopp still manages to win games. He even won against us during the scudetto season in San Siro with his B team.
      Pioli either draws or loses every time he rotates too much, so there has to be something wrong. And when you look how our B team performs, they’re clearly not used to play with each other.
      Also Klopp didn’t always start the same eleven week in week out.
      With that said, even with 4 changes, we should be able to win confortably against Empoli.

  4. He needs to rotate to rest players. If a player isn’t rotated and gets injured everyone would be screaming. I would also rest Pulisic. I think the problem with Chuck is that the right winger isn’t really a winger. Watch Pulisic, he takes the ball into the center of the field and becomes more of an attacking midfielder. Chuck keeps trying to play as a pure winger and the team isn’t setup for that.

  5. Tomori and Thiaw make sense – that’s pace in defense on transition and allows to press high better.

    The front lineup worries me but it’s out of necessity, and I get it. but I’m worried about them gelling well together.

    I know Oli is old & tired, but I’d bring him in in the first 45 just for familiarity and then sub him out at half time for Jovic for a smoother transition.

    I know many of you are worried about Monza 2.0 BUT 11V11 we would have won that game. So long as we don’t get a red (big IF these days), we should be OK.

  6. This rotation is okay, compared to the one he did with Monza. My only doubt is Tomori and Thiaw. I would rather put Gabia and leave Thiaw out. As for Pulisic, he can sub him out 2nd half after killing the game with goals in the 1st half.

    Let’s go Milan. And please Pioli, don’t screw this up.

  7. He could do the same as Puli and cut inside with his only decent foot . He certainly can t cross with his right. ( ONE FOOTED WONDER ) . gO CAPTAIN america !!

  8. Is Gabbia injured or suspended?! He’s been beast so far, let him continue the good run of form. Instead we have two rusty centre backs (and yes Tomori is rusty even against Slavia you could see his sharpness is not 100%). Introduce one at a time. The other subs make sense as Leao is not available and Calab and Flo are virtually interchangeable.
    I knew this would happen once those other guys came back from injury it’s back to the bench for Gabbia when really he should be starting

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