Gattuso and Milan welcome Bologna for a game this evening. Both teams are equal on points going into a game which will most likely be a very tight encounter.
The draw with Cagliari was a disappointment, but Bologna are still in the top half of the table going into the game with Milan. Given their struggles this season, this is a game which is definitely possible to get a positive result from. The overall performance against Cagliari was bad, but since Bologna have had a tendency to up their game against the bigger sides, I am expecting a good performance this evening. Roberto Donadoni talked about this before the game, saying:
It’s time for us to be competitive against the big teams. We’ve already had a go but not yet secured a result. We need to take it one step further.
The result against Sampdoria was great, but they aren’t really a top side, despite their performances this season. Bologna have only one mere point against the top sides this season, despite playing very well in all of the games. If they could manage a positive result against Milan, that could be the factor that really puts them in the driving seat for a top half finish. But, to win against Milan, the key players need to put in a good performance, and Donadoni talked about the need for Destro to perform:
Destro must demonstrate his skill for himself and also for us. He knows that tomorrow he’ll have to suffer and make sacrifices.
It will undoubtedly be a very tough game for Destro, as Milan most likely will have most of the possession. He’ll probably be alone up front at times, and the team will need him to deliver a hard-working performance. As was the case against Sampdoria, we’ll probably get a lot of chances on the counter, and Verdi and Palacio can create a lot of chances for Destro. Given that he seems to be finding his form again, I wouldn’t bet against a goal from him today.
Milan will give it their all today to get Gattuso’s first win as head coach. After two disappointing games against Benevento and Rijeka, they will most likely look at Bologna as a game where they can redeem themselves. Bologna must be ready from the first whistle, and not let Milan get too much time on the ball. Donadoni talked about Milan’s desire to win, saying:
I’m expecting a strong reaction from Milan, who’ll want to put us under pressure. Bologna must be prepared and not be taken by surprise. Everyone was expecting more from Milan. Their technical qualities are still above average however. They spent a lot and are currently enjoying a strange spell.
Then he went on to say:
A lot will depend on us, particularly on how much impact we have on the match. We are focused on ourselves, aiming to run hard and also be determined and creative. This could be an interesting encounter for us.
Hopefully we’ll see Bologna full of confidence, with a lot of energy, and a high press. As mentioned in the review of Milan’s season yesterday, they are the second to last team in distance covered this season. Bologna may be the worse of the two teams technically, but we can definitely take them on pure will power and work-rate.
The only expected change from the last game will be that Andrea Poli has to watch the game from the stands, as he got his fifth yellow card of the season versus Cagliari, and he is therefore suspended. The most likely player to replace him is Saphir Taïder. The Algerian has not had a lot of opportunities this season, so this is a big chance for him to prove his value to the coach.
Milan are level on points with Bologna going into this game, and they are in desperate need of a win. New head coach Gennaro Gattuso has failed to win in either of his first two games in charge, and is, understandably, keen to kickstart his tenure. We covered Milan’s season thus far in yesterday’s post, so be sure to check that one out to get a better understanding of how their season have been thus far.
AC Milan (4-3-3): Donnarumma; Abate, Musacchio, Bonucci, Rodriguez; Kessie, Montolivo, Bonaventura; Borini, Kalinic, Suso
Bologna (4-3-3): Mirante; M’baye, Maietta, De Maio, Masina; Poli, Pulgar, Donsah; Verdi, Destro, Palacio
A showdown between two teams with 21 points each, both with a huge desire to win the game. Given Milan’s struggles this season, this is definitely a game which Bologna can cause an upset. If the attacking trio have their day, they then can definitely cause problems for Milan’s defence. Andrea Poli’s suspension is a huge loss, but it will give another player a chance to shine.
What do you think the result will be? Share your thoughts on the game in the comments!
Photo: Bologna FC