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.”