AEK Athens are coming to San Siro tomorrow night and Vincenzo Montella is thinking of his line-up.
Cutrone and Silva showed very little chemistry in the last Europa League match when they played alongside each other against Rijeka, but it seems that Montella is considering to start them tomorrow too.
According to this morning’s La Gazzetta dello Sport, the 19-year-old Italian and the 21-year-old Portuguese are expected to be the two strikers in Montella’s 3-5-2 when the Rossoneri play AEK Athens in the Europa League on Thursday night at Stadio San Siro at 21:05 CET. Milan are currently top of their group and are at the moment seen by many as one of the favorites to win the EL, perhaps along with Arsenal from the Premier League, on which you can find little known facts, stats & trivia about the league.
Silva has been on fire in Europe (but has yet to score a goal in Serie A), he is the joint-top scorer in the tournament so far with 4 goals (Milan are the side that scored the most goals with 8) and will look to add more goals to his record after his €38 million move from Porto in the summer.
In addition to a Cutrone-Silva duo, Gazzetta reports that Hakan Çalhanoğlu could also have space from the first minute tomorrow. The Turkish was suspended for the Derby della Madonnina and he will look to make some more assists as he is currently the top assist man in the Europa League with 2 assists to his name (8 other players also made 2 assists in the first 2 Europa matchdays).
Çalhanoğlu would most likely take the spot of Giacomo Bonaventura in the starting XI as the Italian midfielder could be rested for the match against Genoa on Sunday (15:00 CET kickoff), although Sky Italia claimed on Monday that he could also step into the place of Franck Kessié. The Ivorian midfielder was subbed out on half time against Inter as he was sacrificed by Montella for a change of the system and another exclusion may suggest that Montella is unhappy with Kessié’s form.
Manuel Locatelli meanwhile is widely expected to take the regista role and play instead of Lucas Biglia. The Argentine played 180 minutes on international duty and then another 90 minutes against Inter (making a huge mistake that led to Mauro Icardi’s second goal) so he could be rested.
According to Milannews.it, it is possible that Ricardo Rodriguez will get a rest in the Europa League again (he didn’t play against Austria Wien and Rijeka either), with Fabio Borini taking the role on the left side of the five-man midfield. This would allow one of Davide Calabria and Ignazio Abate to play.
There is no word yet on whether Montella is planning a rotation in the back but what’s clear is that the three-man defense is here to stay and the Rossoneri aren’t expected to use 4-3-3 anytime soon.