Coppa Italia Milan: without Ibra and Theo, the Pioli plan against Juve – La Gazzetta dello Sport


The disqualifications of Zlatan, Hernandez and Castillejo put in difficulty the technician, who is considering the change of system

Rather than approaching a game, it looks like a sudoku. Starting over from Juve after more than three months of stopping is not in itself great news. If we add to this the simultaneous absence of three undisputed owners, the matter becomes really complicated. In these days Pioli is studying the puzzle: it will be necessary to make up for the disqualifications of Ibrahimovic (who is also injured), Hernandez and Castillejo, and send the field to the Stadium for the return semi-final of the Italian Cup the best eleven in terms of quality-fitness . Considering that the Rossoneri squad has only 21 movement players, who go down to 18 removing the disqualified players, it is not a simple undertaking. Also because there are others – for example Krunic and Duarte – who come from long injuries, and still others – such as Biglia and Bonaventura – who had never been able to find the best shape due to physical problems.

A center forward is missing

Let’s start with the singles. The absence of Ibra will call Leao to report. The Portuguese is the man destined to replace Zlatan, because he is the one with the characteristics that appear most compatible with a center forward. The problem, in fact, is that the Milan squad does not have another central role point besides the Swedish. Leao is an unpredictable and moving player, that position is better suited to him than Rebic, much more comfortable when he starts in the band. As for Castillejo, even in this case there is no real alter ego in Pioli’s 4-2-3-1. Forcing a little, one could place one between Paquetà and Bonaventura instead. Finally, Hernandez. In this case there are two options, and more or less independent of the game system: you can trust Laxalt, who returned to Turin from the base early to make up for Rodriguez’s departure, or you can divert to that part of Calabria, which in the past he has already played on the left several times.

Short blanket

The module, however, will be essential to try to understand Pioli’s choices. Because, with all these absences, it is not at all said that 4-2-3-1 will be maintained. The other options are two. One is the 4-4-2, already experienced with good results as soon as Ibra arrived. A system that gives certainty and compactness, that is exactly what Milan will need at the Stadium. The limit, not least, is that the eleven holder would see Rebic and Leao on the field together, with a bench that would remain free of other attackers (Spring aside, of course). The other limit is the right wing: while Calhanoglu could act on the left, on the opposite side it would probably be necessary to raise a full back, or Conti. At that point the pair of defensive outsiders would be forced: Calabria and the right and Laxalt on the left. It is clear, with three absences so heavy, somewhere the blanket is always short. The other option refers to 4-3-3, which would have the advantage of being known in the mechanisms and application by almost all the Rossoneri. Pioli had abandoned him because the tall outsiders did not do the job he asked for, but in this case virtue would be necessary. The trident could be composed, starting from the right, by Rebic, Leao and Calhanoglu, while the left wing (in a median with Bennacer and Kessie) would be a matter between Paquetà and Bonaventura. In short, Pioli studies and hopes to observe interesting things in the coming days. Because it’s true, the blanket is short, but anything can happen in Turin.

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