AC Milan vs Torino
Stadio Guiseppe Meazza, Milan
Monday, 17-02-2020 @10:45pm
Ref: Michael Fabbri
Milan’s performances have definitely taken a turn for the better, even if not necessarily their results, as they host Moreno Longo’s new-look Torino.
The Rossoneri have been undergoing a tactical revolution since Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s arrival in January, revitalising Samu Castillejo, Ante Rebic and Hakan Calhanoglu in new supporting roles. The 4-3-3 was scrapped in favour of 4-4-2, which is now mutating into a 4-2-3-1 with that trio providing creativity for their centre-forward.
It worked wonders in the first half of their games against Inter and Juventus, but in both Serie A and the Coppa Italia, failed to keep up the necessary intensity for 90 minutes.
Lucas Biglia, Rade Krunic and Leo Duarte are still out injured, with Andrea Conti suspended, so Davide Calabria again steps in at right-back.
Torino parted company with coach Walter Mazzarri by mutual consent after a series of disastrous results, including a 7-0 loss to Atalanta and 4-0 hammering by Lecce.
Longo made his debut in last week’s 3-1 home defeat to Sampdoria, having taken the lead only to capitulate in the closing stages. Even more than Milan, Toro have a marked tendency to fall apart in the final half-hour and fumble positive situations.
Armando Izzo sits out a ban, with Daniele Baselli, Simone Zaza and Vincenzo Millico all nursing knocks, but they could still feature. Simone Verdi finally scored his first goal in a Toro jersey last week and it seems as if Longo is ready to make tactical changes, shifting to a 3-4-3 formation with Verdi and Alex Berenguer flanking Andrea Belotti.
These teams met last month in the Coppa Italia quarter-final, ending 2-2 after 90 minutes with Calhanoglu snatching a last-gasp equaliser. That forced extra time and Milan ran riot, winning 4-2 with another Calhanoglu strike and Ibrahimovic goal.
Toro are unbeaten against Milan in Serie A since a 3-2 thriller in August 2016, managing four draws and two victories. Having won 2-1 back in September, they could win both home and away against the Rossoneri in one season for the first time since 1984-85.
The Serie A results this past weekend
-Lecce 2-1 SPAL
-Bologna 0-3 Genoa
-Atalanta 2-1 AS Roma
-Juventus 2-0 Brescia
-Udinese 0-0 Hellas Verona
-Sampdoria 1-5 Fiorentina
-Sassuolo 0-1 Parma
-Cagliari 0-1 Parma
-Lazio 2-1 Inter Milan