Montolivo in doubt for Saturday’s match, Mihajlovic to have limited options in midfield against Juventus

Photo by Marco Luzzani/Getty Images
Photo by Marco Luzzani/Getty Images

Sinisa Mihajlovic could be forced to use Andrea Poli or Jose Mauri from the start against Juventus as Andrea Bertolacci is suspended and Riccardo Montolivo is dealing with an injury.

It’s been a tough few days for Milan as after the defeat with Atalanta they went into a training retreat ahead of the clash with Juventus on Saturday evening.

Against Atalanta, the Rossoneri were without Keisuke Honda which, partially due to lack of options, pushed Mihajlovic to use Mattia De Sciglio in midfield. Honda however is expected to be back against Juventus and take back his role on the wing.

The Japanese will be back but Andrea Bertolacci is suspended for the match and Mihajlovic will have to do without him. In addition to the banned Bertolacci, Riccardo Montolivo is also likely to miss the match as he hasn’t trained with the squad over the past two days due to a muscular problem.

“During the game against Atalanta I suffered a muscle injury and you must be very careful with muscle problems,” Montolivo told Milan Channel. “The next 48 hours will be decisive and we’ll see if there will be a chance to be available. We must also understand the risk of it leading to a more severe injury, so we’ll see. I will be disappointed to miss out especially considering the period the team are going through. I’d like to make my contribution to get out of it, we’ll see if there will be a margin of a chance to make it.”

It remains to be seen if Juraj Kucka will be available for the match. He trained normally today but it’s still unclear whether he will be fit or not. If Juraj won’t be able to make it then Miha will have Andrea Poli, Jose Mauri and Manuel Locatelli (and KP Boateng) to choose from for two midfield roles.

Mihajlovic, who is according to Sky currently leaning towards starting Mario Balotelli over Luiz Adriano against the Bianconeri, will make his decisions in the next days during the retreat, which according to Montolivo could prove to be helpful for the final run of the season.

“Earlier this week at Milanello we had quite a long discussion and even in fairly raised tones. Clearly none of us are happy and satisfied with the situation,” Monto added to the MC. “Two points in four games is not enough for a team like ours, I think that the retreat is not the solution to all the problems, but it will help because the team must take responsibility for what is happening and it is a chance for some individual soul-searching and figure out how we can give more and what we have not been giving.

“I believe and I hope that on Saturday we will see a different team from the last games. These games are the easiest to prepare mentally and motivationally. We are working hard on Juve weaknesses, even if they do not have many. The coach is motivated, he is at his best under pressure and hopefully we can make him happy. There is the desire to prove to ourselves that Milan is a different team from the last few games, then there is the desire to compete with what is perhaps the strongest team in recent years.

“We want to show that if we use our heads then we can play equally with them. This year, perhaps the mental aspect has let us down. Working together can absolutely make the difference.”


    • Wow, you should be ashamed. Wishing a serious injury on another human being, because our team is performing poorly? Grow up

  1. oh god. if he’s too affraid to play Mauri or Locatelli he should just have Bonaventura in midfield.. he played in that position with us before.

    This way menez could play on the wing. Simple

  2. Pato, SES, Suso, Saponara, Van Ginkel, NDJ, Witsel and Paletta could have all realistically been part of our current squad…

    Id take Witsel/MVG/NDJ over Berto/Monti/Poli anyday. Id take SES/Suso/Saponara over Jack/Honda. Id take Paletta over Zapata. And id certainly take Pato over L.Adriano…

    Mastour, Verghara, Mastalli, and Petagna could have also been of use this season. Instead, we sell Petagna and loan Mastour for 2 years…

    We could have been, without any big money signings(except Witsel), much younger, faster, disciplined, energetic, skilled, less egotistical…

    Bad decision upon bad decision by G, along with Pippo and Miha has led us to mediocrity. Our predicament has nothing to do with money(G) or with psychology (Monti).

    • You forget the greatest of them all, ibra and ts33.

      Milan line up shouldve been like this:
      Abate Ts33 roma Anto
      El sha Witsel/moutinho kucka bona
      Pato/bacca Ibra
      Damn that line up wouldve won milan scudetti several times over.

      And whats with some people wishing harm to milan’s own players? That is disgusting to say the least

  3. It seems like lady luck holds a grudge against milan. Maybe she was one of bunga bunga victims?
    Say what you want but due to lack overall quality of the squad, monto is one of milan’s key players. This losing trend started when monto, niang, roma were injured simultaneously. I hope he can recovers in time so miha can pair him with mauri. God only knows what would happen if miha picks poli

  4. Some fans saying mastour? isnt he flopping At spain? its not always so easy, pato was always injured? he wasnt milan quality so G&B invented that crystal bull#%#€ is not always easy to bring a young player and make it world class not everyone is el92 and donnarumma, what annoys me is that galliani loans young player to other countries, juve anD Roma loans to Pescara for example and like that you nourish italian football, but thats the issue Milán isnt a football team is just bussiness

    • What evidence do you have that Mastour is “flopping” in Spain? Do you not know how old he is?
      Malaga has rarely played him, but in the few brief appearances ive seen he definitely showed flashes of brilliance.

      As far as Pato, you say he was not “Milan quality”….lol….
      The only problem with Pato was the injuries. The kid was a beast when healthy. He was already a proven commodity in serie A, and had several excellent seasons with us. He went to Brazil, and once healthy he returned to form. Now he has put in an excellent performance in his debut for Chelsea.

      Have you even watched Hachim or Pato over the past year? Have you watched Petagna or Verghara? Have you seen Van Ginkel perform?

    • No…Mastour is not “flopping”
      Pato, “not Milan Material”…lol…

      Patos only issue was injury, not performance. Oh, and honesty, his relationship with Barbara was an issue.

      On the pitch, Pato was a star for Milan when healthy. I love SES, but at no point in his career has he performed as well as Pato at his peak. And now that Pato is heathy again, his debut for Chelsea suggests he will soon prove you wrong….soon, as in 2-3 weeks from now….

      Pato, imho, is unique in terms of Milan history. He, TS33, and Abate were supposed to be the bridge from Milans past to its future. #7 and #33 played for Ancellotti, played with all our senators, were thoroughly indoctrinated into the championship culture of Milan…

      Ibra was awesome, but he does not belong to us in the same way Pato and TS33 do.

      We all often point to the sale of Ibra and TS33 as the starting point of Milans downfall, but in my opinion, the sale of TS33, the sale of Pato, and the crowning of Montolivo as captain are the 3 major reasons Milan has lost its championship culture.

      Losing a match is normal, bad seasons happen, but for a club with the pedigree of Milan to completely lose touch with its past, this is an abomination.

      Anyway, back to the point, dont assume Mastour is flopping if you haven’t watched him play recently (i have), same goes for Pato, Petagna and Verghara…honestly, to be honest though, i haven’t watched Mastalli this season.

  5. Mauri has to start! There is no way he is worst that Bertolacci. Altough Mauri is quite easily pushed around, but so is Bertolacci. Difference is that Mauri is more aggressive and I have higher hopes for him. And no-one can say that he is too young and not ready for seria a yet, look what the kid did last year in Parma.

  6. Miha is too rigid and that’s why he is a mid-table club coach. He should leave after this season – even if he win every single game remaining in the league and the Coppa Italia.

  7. Milan v Juventus > The winning line up

    Abate, Zapata, Romagnoli, Antonelli,
    Honda, Kucka, Bonaventura
    Balotelli, Menez, Bacca


    Abate, Zapata, Romagnoli, Antonelli,
    Honda, Kucka, Boateng, Bonventura
    Balotelli, Bacca

    • If you want to use these 3 forwards then I would use 4-3-1-2 with Menez behind Bacca and Balotelli. Or even the christmas tree formation, 4-3-2-1, but that would mean Poli will be our only CM probably.

      • Yes I agree 4-3-1-2 with Menez playing behind Balotelli and Bacca. We need to bring the fight to Juve and attack them from the off-set. Abate and Antonelli can run up the flanks but we need more creativity in the centre of the pitch, having both Balotelli and Menez will provide that. Miha must see sense or face the sack!

  8. Hahahaha!!

    This means poli back in action, thats exactly what we need to add to milan circus, the headless chicken that runs all over the place and does NOTHING

  9. A 4-3-1-2 formation could count for us now tanx to berto’s suspension.. With menez on the wing and bona behind the strikers..we should perform better.. My pick:

    Abate – Alex – Romagnoli – Antonelli
    —Honda/Boateng- Kucka- menez
    ———-Bacca – Balotelli/Adriano

  10. Balo is more creative than Mendez so he should play behind bacca n Mendez. And he’s willing to pass.
    Abate, Roma, zap, anto
    Kuco, mauri, love
    Menez, bacca

  11. Miha can always play De Sciglio in midfield or Mexes or Zapata,why not they are undiscovered maestros just waiting to be released! It is important that we don’t give a chance to youth ones even when we don’t have any choice and when result in not that important anymore. Yes this is a club filed with clowns and yeah we’rr going down!



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