SM: Theo’s suspension gives Pioli a headache at left-back – his current thoughts

By Oliver Fisher -

Theo Hernandez will be disqualified for the match against Empoli and it will be a big absence for Stefano Pioli to deal with, so the coach is planning how best to replace him.

The yellow card received against Napoli means that he has reached five for the season and will miss the next match on Saturday at San Siro against Empoli, so Pioli is thinking of two quite different moves aimed at keeping the left side solid.

Ballo-Toure to be snubbed?

The most obvious move would be to deploy Fode Ballo-Toure there given that he is a left-back naturally, however he has shown on more than one occasion to still lack experience and attention to detail, especially in the defensive phase.

For this reason, we have learned through that Pioli is considering deploying Alessandro Florenzi at left-back and Davide Calabria on his natural right side, just as happened during the 1-0 win over Sampdoria.

The alternative

The other option instead would be to move Calabria onto the left side with Florenzi returning to his natural role of right-back. Pioli has not decided fully on what to do given he has had just one training session this week, so today new tests and tactical trials could provide the answer.

Empoli will arrive at the San Siro as a potential obstacle given that they are 10 points above the drop zone and they are playing with freedom, especially when considering Milan’s struggles against the ‘lower ranking’ sides.

Tags AC Milan Alessandro Florenzi Davide Calabria Fode Ballo-Toure
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