The Rossoneri will face Siena for the opening match of the Serie A league on Saturday. With poor pre-season and only one win, Milan target the Scudetto, which seems impossible. However, Siena clash will tell how Milan ready for the new league
Kicking-Off: Saturday, August 22, 20.45 CET
Stadio Artemio Franchi, Siena
Siena have the home advantage, but it usually doesn’t help, as the Bianconeri have won only twice at opening stage of the Serie A in the last six years: against Cagliari and Chievo. Giampaolo players are defiantly the underdog for this game, despite the fans would push them ahead.
The pressure on the Rossoneri’s hips is heavy; this would be the official begin to Leonardo’s era. Leonardo never coached an official match before in his life, despite managed ten matches with AC Milan. The forlorn pre-season is over, and Milan can’t wait for the real action to begin, as all the failures from the offseason count to nothing, when an important campaign like the Serie A kicking off.
Unfortunately, we’ll have to wait one more week in order to see Pato & Hunetlaar combination at the real stages. The Dutch international is suspended for the first match of the league due to a card he picked up at his last game with Real Madrid last season. The experienced Filippo Inzaghi could start instead.
The goalkeeper position has been taken to a new level as Marco Storari is back between the sticks after some years out for loan. He will struggle for a place in the squad for the next few month with new signing Flavio Roma, who hasn’t shown too well when played on the TIM Trophy, while first choice Chrstian Abbiati and second choice Nelson Dida, are still suffering from an injury. The competition would hopefully increase the ‘keepers level.
Siena lost two of their stars, defender Juan Camilo Zuniga and midfielder Houssine Kharja. Siena’s new midfielder Gael Genevier, who picked up from Pisa, is hoping to make his first official appearance with the team, while 35-year-old Michele Fini is looking for first time play with his new club.
Out of eight Serie A matches that saw Siena meeting AC Milan in a row [four years], Milan have won all of them. The history back Milan up, only since the 2-1 defeat on 2005, Milan have never felt the motion of lose against the Robur. This is Siena’s only win over the Italian giants in the past years in the top tier.
There are mixed emotions with Siena. Well, we all remember the great 5-1 win over them last season, when Pippo celebrated his 300th career goal. However, at the same match, Favalli fell on Abbiati and made him injured. However, the Black & White outfit would like to revenge AC Milan for this historic match, which Pato and Inzaghi shined in, and would like to repeat the magics they showed there then.
Watch out: Despite a poor first season, Dinho should be illuminated at the second effort as Milan player. I don’t like to hang hopes at this such a player but he can lead AC Milan, but when a leader requires, Ronaldinho will step in with help of Alexnadre Pato and Andrea Pirlo. The Rossoneri new/old formation is dangerous, and Siena need to work hard in order to find a break through.
Prediction: The match would be balanced at the beginning but Milan get control after 30 minutes. Pato will score the first goal on the 34 minutes and Andrea Pirlo will send a great free-kick to the net and make it 2-0 on the second half, around the 70th minute. Siena 0 – 2 AC Milan.
Siena: Curci; Ficagna, Rossettini, Brandao, Del Grosso; Vergassola, Codrea, Genevier; Fini; Paolucci, Maccarone
Milan: Storari; Zambrotta, Nesta, Thiago Silva, Jankulovski; Gattuso, Pirlo, Flamini; Ronaldinho; Pato, Inzaghi
By Meytar Zeevi, Rossoneri Blog