Cagliari (4-2-3-1): 28 Cragno; 25 Zappa, 2 Godin, 40 Walukiewicz, 22 Lykogiannis; 4 Nainggolan, 8 Marin; 20 Pereiro, Joao Pedro, 18 Sottil; 9 Simeon. Coach: Di Francesco.
Milan (4-2-3-1): 99 G. Donnarumma; 2 Calabria, 24 Kjaer, 13 A.Romagnoli, 5 Dalot; 8 Tonali, 79 Kessie; 7 Castillejo, 21 B. Diaz, 15 Hauge; 11 Ibrahimovic. Coach: Pioli.
Referee: Abyss of Palermo
Tv:ore 20.45 live on Sky
The signature that Mario Mandzukic vergher in the next few hours on the contract that will bind him to Milan for the next six months a declaration of war: the Devil wants the Scudetto. Then, of course, everything to see will succeed, the road is very long and there are objectively more equipped opponents such as Inter and Juve, but the engagement of the Croatian center forward proves not so much the change of strategy – the Elliott project to enhance young people is giving results excellent and rightly not to be changed – as much as the club’s clear will strengthen where it is needed at the key moment of the season, to leave no stone unturned in the title race. In all departments: very close defender Fikayo Tomori from Chelsea, loan with the right of redemption for 30 million.
Opening with the bad news of the double positivity of Calhanoglu and Theo Hernandez, who will miss tonight’s away match at Cagliari, on the Rossoneri Sunday when the news filtered out in the late morning of the agreement found with Mandzukic: six months at 1.8 million euros net, with an automatic renewal option in case of Champions placement. Were it not for Covid, on Sunday there would have been hundreds of Rossoneri fans waiting for the center forward at Linate and then in the hotel. The enthusiasm skyrockets. There is: I send a shot from an old Milan, as in the glory days. The intuition was in fact of the director Maldini, one who knows football like few others, one who has lived that old Milan and made it great. The reasoning of the former champion, more and more at ease in the role of manager, was impeccable: if we want to get to the bottom of all three objectives, championship and cups, we need a reinforcement of experience and ready to use. Exactly as it happened a year ago in January with Ibrahimovic and Kjaer, immediately became key men fundamental for the maturation of a team that was, remains and will remain among the youngest in all of Europe.
We must be careful not to change the balance was the refrain of Pioli and executives in recent weeks. Until about twenty days ago, the idea of a deputy Ibra was discarded, but the results and the evaluation of other elements – the Covid variable, Ibrahimovic’s injuries, the lack of a spare center forward – convinced the management to aim straight on the Mandzukic free transfer. The doubts concerned not so much the estate – the 34-year-old swears he is already ready – as its impact on the locker room. Once Ibra gave his consent, the deal was closed. Obviously Pioli is also enthusiastic, as he is already thinking about how to use it: as a center forward instead of Zlatan but also as a left winger, as Allegri did at the time of Juventus. The intention is to send him to the field on Saturday with Atalanta at San Siro.
First for Cagliari, from face with 7 absent: Rebic, Krunic, Bennacer, Gabbia and Leao are also missing. Debut from the bench for the newcomer Meit. Di Francesco’s Sardinians come from 5 consecutive defeats and are in great need of points: for the new Devil who now dreams really big, the first truth test.
January 18, 2021 (change January 18, 2021 | 11:22)
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