SM: Pioli’s hierarchies ahead of Bologna game – preparation and condition key

By Oliver Fisher -

AC Milan will get their 2023-24 Serie A campaign underway in just a few days as they face Bologna at the Stadio Renato dall’Ara on Monday 21 August.

As our colleagues at report, it is a match that will see the official competitive debuts of several new signings including three players who have already climbed Stefano Pioli’s hierarchies, namely Christian Pulisic, Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Tijjani Reijnders.

Midfield takes shape

There are three players who are practically untouchable for the head coach given that he has used them in his ‘first string’ in preseason with the precise aim of having them at 100% for the Bologna game.

Two of them are in midfield, where Loftus-Cheek and Reijnders will position themselves either side of Rade Krunic in the new-look midfield trio as the two mezzalas.

Faith in Pulisic 

However, it is a different matter for Pulisic who could play anywhere on the frontline including as a playmaker if Pioli decided to use the 4-2-3-1 system he has made his own over the past three years.

Against Bologna it should be the USA international who starts on the right side while waiting for Samuel Chukwueze to get to 100%, though he is destined to take over the reins at some point given the wing pairing foreseen with Rafael Leao.

It is not expected that Noah Okafor will be there against the Rossoblu because he is still behind the others in his preparation, but when he is ready he should rotate with Olivier Giroud in the No.9 role.

Musah and Romero

The player who has perhaps shown himself to be in the best condition in preseason is Luka Romero, who will immediately have a chance to show his capabilities and could come off the bench.

The former Lazio man could play anywhere across the forward line but also as a mezzala, while it is a similar discussion for Yunus Musah who however is also behind in preparation so it will still take some time before he is seen on the field consistently.

Tags AC Milan


  1. 433

    Calabria, Thiaw, Bartesaghi, theo
    Reijnders, RLC, Pobega
    Pulisic, Colombo, Leao

    no Giroud, he is reaching the end
    no Tomori, too many errors, seems to be regressing
    no Krunic, no explanation needed
    RLC more defensive role, he has the physicality to do the role if he can stay fit, Sub Musah

    Pobega/Colombo – i have faith in home grown talent, even if noone else does

    Cue abuse !!!!

  2. Sorry to dissapoint you.
    Krunic and Giroud must be there. They are top players in my current squad.
    Krunics skill is more than Inesta and Xavi combined
    Giroud is an old beast. Even Mbappe could not match him.
    FYI, I rejected the managements idea to sign Halland this season, because I already have Giroud and the management astonishingly agreed with me


  3. maignan
    calabria thiaw tomori theo
    RLC musah reijnders
    chukwueze pulisic leao
    okafor weil er in einer guten zeit gegen milan getroffen hat

  4. I think Pioli will use 4231 again.

    So, all new players like RLC, Pulisic, Reijnders, Chuk will play from the first minute. While Romero, Musah, and Okafor will play in second half.

    But, I like to see Okafor from the first minute. So, we can play full speed at front, with 4312 formation.

  5. Olivier Giroud is still to quality ,and will rightfully be our main centre forward this season ,despite his age his still is the best target man anywhere in Europe..
    Yes he is we are so lucky to have him ..inside and around the 18 yard area ,he is quick thinking,,,the pace is in his head ,he knows where to be at the right moment ,this is not luck , but extreme skill …He is so physicaly strong ,and great technique on the ball ..
    Yes we know he hasn’t got pace ,,,he doesn’t need that as I have already said the first few yards are in his head ….What he does need is pace around him ,this squad has a super abundance of that.
    Why does pioli pick him ,simple reason he knows how to get the best of of Olivier ,Why does he still get picked to play for France ,it’s because he is appreciated by de champs ..
    The team we have had got loads of goals in it pulisic …Giroud .Loftus cheek ..Rafeol leao etc .
    Stop moaning and get behind our team and management..We will challenge for honours this season .

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