Çalhanoğlu could reportedly start as the left winger against Lazio on Sunday, Kessié-Biglia-Montolivo in midfield

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Hakan Calhanoglu during Crotone-Milan at the Ezio Scida Stadium on August 20 2017. (Photo by Maurizio Lagana/Getty Images)
Hakan Calhanoglu during Crotone-Milan at the Ezio Scida Stadium on August 20 2017. (Photo by Maurizio Lagana/Getty Images)

Vincenzo Montella is thinking of playing Hakan on the wing with Patrick Cutrone and Suso in attack, while Montolivo could get a start as a mezz’ala.

The international break is behind us and on Sunday at 15:00 CET, Milan will step on the pitch of the Olimpico in Rome for the first big test of the season, as they face Simone Inzaghli’s Biancocelesti.

As reported by Sky Italia yesterday, and La Gazzetta dello Sport this morning, coach Montella is considering his options ahead of the match and at the moment (although it can change), Hakan Çalhanoğlu is favorite over Fabio Borini to start on the left wing, with Riccardo Montolivo taking the role of the left side-midfielder in a 4-3-3.

Giacomo Bonaventura is fit but since he’s coming off an injury it seems unlikely – at least today – that he will play from the first minute. Lucas Biglia (and Gustavo Gomez) did not train yesterday with the squad since there was a problem with his connecting flight, but he’ll train normally today and is ready to start against his former side. Franck Kessié is of course a guaranteed starter as well.

In attack, Patrick Cutrone is currently favorite over André Silva and Nikola Kalinić. Andrea Conti meanwhile is out through injury and Abate is favorite over Calabria to take over the starting role.

Probable starting XI (4-3-3) – Vincenzo Montella [via GdS]
Gianluigi Donnarumma; Ignazio Abate, Mateo Musacchio, Leonardo Bonucci, Ricardo Rodriguez; Franck Kessié, Lucas Biglia, Riccardo Montolivo; Suso, Patrick Cutrone, Hakan Çalhanoğlu.

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bidonesia
bidonesia
4 years ago

in what aspect, Loca can’t do better than Monty?
i don’t hate Monty but i think it’s clear who backup who & who is on form! last season we forced to play Loca cuz the captain is injured & no other option, then the kid destroy Sassuolu & JUVE!!!
recently the form is back on fire, i can’t see why coach don’t play him,
i’m sure players like Loca, Cala & Cutrone will be 1st choice in club like Atalanta, Toro or even Napoli & yep some of them is above us last time…

Abe
Abe
4 years ago
Reply to  bidonesia

Exactly!!!

+milan
+milan
4 years ago
Reply to  bidonesia

last time i checked, montolivo is on form too….
the coach watches this players train daily and gets to select those whom he feels is best for a each games…

“i’m sure players like Loca, Cala & Cutrone will be 1st choice in club like Atalanta, Toro or even Napoli & yep some of them is above us last time”
Xo you really think anyone of them would a first choice at napoli??.

Klum
Klum
4 years ago
Reply to  bidonesia

With all do respect to the Milan colors, if anyone likes monty as a human being, it’s definitely OK. However, to like him as a player shows one thing, not knowing a dime about real football. That person has a very shallow understanding of the beautiful game. I’m getting sick of the pathetic praise over monty especially now that he can easily be replaced. You all saw what Loca did the whole of last season in the absence of Monty. You all saw the IMMIDIATE BALANCE BIGLIA BROUGHT TO THE CAGLIARY GAME. Loca boy was solid ALL THE TIME and… Read more »

+milan
+milan
4 years ago
Reply to  Klum

montolivo played as a mezz’ala vs Shekndija, and boy he played it xo well that he bagged two goals…. “Milan’s lack of form in the second season was largely due to Jacks absence and Locatelli being relegated to the bench”. plz why was locatelli relegated to bench last season again??? he couldn’t even compete with Sosa!… the main cause of the second half form was Jack’s injury… “I’m talking about a 19 year old whose defensive skills is not far from Busquets the best defensively in that position at the moment”. If he was xo good that even his defensive… Read more »

Klum
Klum
4 years ago
Reply to  +milan

It just shows how shallow you and your Montolivo fans really are. Why don’t you wait for Monty to be at least solid enough for a season to take Milan to where it belongs. Oh wait I guess a brace against Shekdija is what makes Monty a world beater. Face it, Monty is a donkey who won’t become a horse now.

+milan
+milan
4 years ago
Reply to  Klum

oh xo now you are discrediting Shekndija??…. the same team you used as a reference for locatelli’s performance…. who’s the shallow one now???
even bigila said and i quote “montolivo brings the ball out more than I do and scores goals. He has more quality than me in that regard”…..

RKaY
RKaY
4 years ago
Reply to  bidonesia

How many times does montella have to say “there will be room for everyone”. He hasn’t said that for no reason. There is a Europa match this upcoming Thursday. Locatelli will CERTAINLY play in that game. It doesn’t mean Monty is better. Whether Monty or borini get picked for serie a, coppa Italia, or the Europa league, you will all complain. Whether locatelli is rested for this game or that game. You will all complain I have news for you, Monty and borini are going to get a decent amount of minutes this season so get the f over it.… Read more »

Klum
Klum
4 years ago
Reply to  RKaY

@Rkay—-Yeah, just because there is room for everyone does not mean that there is room for error.

Pelle80
Pelle80
4 years ago

I wonder why silva was bought to be benched. Why not start playing with 2 strikers upfront since we got enough quality there? Anyway, the coach should know better. Goodluck guys!

rosso138
rosso138
4 years ago
Reply to  Pelle80

Agreed. Wpuld rather play 4312 with Suso behind two strikers (or one of them and Hakan behind strikers) than play Hakan on the left wing.

agustinar
agustinar
4 years ago
Reply to  Pelle80

or play Silva as LW since Suso and Cutrone have made great chemistry in this 433

Bang
Bang
4 years ago
Reply to  Pelle80

It’s difficult to happen. Suso is on fire in his role as RW, is too risky using new formation vs lazio. We are very good using 4-3-3 from the first. Reality is not same with Master League, you can’t change formation easily and get the chemistry

chiguy
chiguy
4 years ago

Comment: the coach is clueless….. Silva should have started then cutrone will start on Thursday….

Alexmilan
Alexmilan
4 years ago
Reply to  chiguy

If a player is in an excellent form you can’t bench him and cut his form and his enthusiasm, it’s not fair and normal to do that. Coach is doing a right and good job right now ! For now, Cutrone is in the best form

Rikimaru Tenchu
Rikimaru Tenchu
4 years ago
Reply to  Alexmilan

Precisely my point. You have to keep going with the luck and fire following Cutrone right now.

SIlva meanwhile has shown great quality and will get plenty of chances for sure. It’s just six games, the season is still very long and I have no doubt Silva will perform and surprise all doubters

Klum
Klum
4 years ago
Reply to  Alexmilan

I really wished you could say that about Locatelli or Calabria or even cutrone at their fine form. Nobody trusted them even now as Cutrone is playing well I still see some Milan fans who are cold worms about it.

imadala
imadala
4 years ago

LUUCAS BIGLIAA NA NA NA NA NA….!!

Pato
4 years ago

I better start Andre Silva than Cutrone

dejan10
dejan10
4 years ago

Apart from Çalhanoğlu on the left wing (whose been unconvincing so far) and Abate at right back (we all know what can happen there) it’s great to see us line up with the strongest squad we’ve had in years.

Milanista121
Milanista121
4 years ago

Guys, think about it. Cutrone is in red hot form right now, to me, he is the obvious choice to start. I’m just afraid Montella will start with Kalinic because of his “serie a experience”. Remember how Morata slowly got eased in at Juve? The same could and should be applied with Silva, the season is long, and he is a great talent, Cutrone willl have his dip in form so its nice to have these options to rotate with. On another note, i’m excited to see Monto as the mezz’ala! I think he will do great. Regarding Hakan as… Read more »

BeGo
BeGo
4 years ago
Reply to  Milanista121

Agree.

Montolivo used to be a Right Midfielder in previous clubs. 🙂

Kourosh
Kourosh
4 years ago

Hakan on the wing is a bad idea, but he isn’t performing as a mezz’ala either. I know he’s trequartista by trade but he’ll have to also perform somewhere else eventually because that’s what great players do.

I also don’t lIke the idea of Biglia and Montolivo together. Both of them plus Locatelli are registas in my eye. They might be able to do the job as mezz’ala but it’s not the perfect solution.

Cutrone should start as long as he’s playing like he’s been, no matter who’s on the bench. That’s just common sense.

Milanista121
Milanista121
4 years ago
Reply to  Kourosh

Like BeGo said, Montolivo used to play as a right midfielder before, and he occupied that role very good in his first season with us. He played regista mostly after De jong got injured, but he and Ambro switched positions, I especially remember the 2-0 win at San Siro against Barcelona where Monto played as a mezz’ala to great effect, so I dont agree with that he is just a regista. I actually think that he can be better in that position than he recently has been, although that’s not saying much lol. Loca however, can play as a mezz’ala,… Read more »

Kourosh
Kourosh
4 years ago
Reply to  Milanista121

I agree that they can do the job as mezz’ala but I think it’s best if they don’t play simultaneously. If it were up to me, only one between Biglia, Montolivo or Locatelli would have played at a time and as a regista, but I’m no coach. I hope Montolivo does well though if he plays there. I sure did watch all of team melli’s matches. The new generation of players are really good. Most of them are European level players. I think they can do something good with Queiroz who is a great coach. Too bad their legendary clean… Read more »

Milanista121
Milanista121
4 years ago
Reply to  Kourosh

I do hear you, but mezz’ala is Monto’s position as much as regista is, I think he can do even better there like I said, but we’ll see, Lazio will be a good test. Hope all the players will do well!

Yeah they’re great, like Hajisafi, Rezaeian, Azmoun, Ezatollahi and Pouraliganji in particular, think Pouraliganji and Azoum can be really great with more guidance.
Yeah that sucks… we broke the record didn’t we? Would’ve been nice to have extended the clean sheet record… but it is what it is. I’ve also watched all of the games!

Baresis Dream
Baresis Dream
4 years ago
Reply to  Kourosh

That’s the price we pay for Europa league my friend. If Jack was 100% fit, he would get that LW spot.

But we have to give Hakan his minutes; when in form he can playbthe LW role, as well as the midfield role.

Monty is okay as mezzale, but really cannot provide a threat on goal and can’t play 90 minutes.

Milanista121
Milanista121
4 years ago
Reply to  Baresis Dream

Well, I know you have a problem with EL Baresi’s dream, and I feel you, but to be fair, that “problem” would also exist even with UCL football, so it’s not really an argument.

Baresis Dream
Baresis Dream
4 years ago
Reply to  Milanista121

At CL there’s something worth fighting for, and you actually get paid to compete …

Klum
Klum
4 years ago
Reply to  Kourosh

@Kurosh—-Five bucks says Calhanoglu is much better on the left wing. He takes to it like fish to the water. And he is more effective than Jack there. The left wing si where Calhanoglu scored against BAyern and scored an assist for Silva against Shekndija. So wanna?

Kourosh
Kourosh
4 years ago
Reply to  Klum

He hasn’t played that well on the wing up until now. Even against Bayern where he scored a goal, he didn’t play that well. But it’s ok for now, I always knew Hakan needs more time than anybody else. The guy has been out for half a season and it takes time to get back in it.

I’ll be more than happy to part with 5 bucks if it means Hakan is good enough for the left wing and Jack can focus on his mezz’ala position, but I’m not holding my breath over it to be honest.

BeGo
BeGo
4 years ago
Reply to  Kourosh

Err, who said Hakan and Suso intended position are Wingers?

No, that a Christmas Tree Formation. 🙂

Kourosh
Kourosh
4 years ago
Reply to  BeGo

That would be interesting, and it could work. We’ll see.

Mohammad Athar
Mohammad Athar
4 years ago

Montella is doing perfect. We have a squad where every lad is as good as their compatriot. I would love to see Silva and Cutrone together. 4-3-3 can be the best formation. With Cutrone as the lone striker with Hakan and Suso on the wings, and kessie, locatelli, and biglia/montolivo in center midfield…

BeGo
BeGo
4 years ago

Looking at Cutrone now,

How come He is under the radar in previous year? 🙂

efosa
efosa
4 years ago

in defence I would have preferred a combination of mussachio and Zapata

O'Gabbs
O'Gabbs
4 years ago
Reply to  efosa

Come @efosa. This is AC Milan and not Bendel Insurance

EIghteen99
EIghteen99
4 years ago
Reply to  O'Gabbs

lol! … or Iwayawun National

nana
nana
4 years ago

Again, we wanna play one of our supposed to be big player out of position. It’s true players must adapt to coaches instructions, that what big guys do. But more importantly coaches must find the right balance to fit players in to give their best. Offensive wing play is reserved for those with grill, fearsome and intimidating players. I think instead of Hakan please play silva. At least it will be like playing 2 strikers

Rikimaru Tenchu
Rikimaru Tenchu
4 years ago
Reply to  nana

Hakan played the left wing in the match against Bayern Munich and did great

nana
nana
4 years ago

And again why do we play monti together with biglia. Do we want to play like snails in the middle of the park? I doubt that pair will start together. Anyways win for us guys

Nene
Nene
4 years ago
Reply to  nana

Chale, Montella is simply tactically inept

Ricky
Ricky
4 years ago

Everybody seems fine with formation and line-up to be used as long as there is no Borini

Jibola
Jibola
4 years ago

Montella has reviewed the Cagliary game and has realised how Milan struggled against Cagliary. They won every single 2nd ball after we scored as they got physically better, not even our strongest guy Kessie could hack it and Calhanoglou was d most affected, Borini’s inability to add quality on the left automatically affected Calha too and resulted in Rodriguez having to do extra job. Lazio could try to prepare their team to do the same and with that midfield of Monty-Biglia-Kessie, we are physically ready with some quality too and Calha would have better freedom to express himself forward since… Read more »

O'Gabbs
O'Gabbs
4 years ago
Reply to  Jibola

I admire your football reasoning. Jibola

Pelle80
Pelle80
4 years ago
Reply to  Jibola

Applause bro.

bidonesia
bidonesia
4 years ago

Calhanoglu as winger?!
if we want a trequartista & free kick specialist as winger, why we waste much millions to sign him, we elready have Honda, who is even faster & more strength…
why it’s so difficult to sacrifice Borini & 433 to give chance to Calhanoglu & Silva to develope their real potential?

3412 or 4312,

……………… Gigio
Con – Leo – Mus/Rom – RR
…… Kes – Big/Loc – Jax
………… Cano/Suso
…… Silva/Suso – Kal/Ctr

Danrondo
Danrondo
4 years ago

i hope montella doesnt screw the team up

Nene
Nene
4 years ago

Sad this coach always exposing his ineptitude week in, week out. What has Montolivio done to him

obiorah nweke
obiorah nweke
4 years ago

Comment:am so angry the way montella plays our Turkish #10, if he actually flops and we sell him, Milan will regret it just like aubameyang, montella must know what he is doing, 4231 and 4312 will bring out the best in him, again why is Silva so rotten on the bench when the guy is actually performing so well, crotone is good but immature, montella must try to know that suso and hakan are the playmakers of this team, he should know how to utilize them so well and play what suits them properly, again romagnoli might be tempted if… Read more »

tunchi
tunchi
4 years ago
Reply to  obiorah nweke

u said it all bro 100% I rate u

John
4 years ago

Why the hell is montell playing 433 with the caliba of players we have and again favoring montilvo over Loca ???

Perfect10
Perfect10
4 years ago

So Montella just like allegri is ready to start play out of positions in order to not start silva. Why can silva-cutrone and suso start?

So silva is rather benched then playing on wing? Silva on the left is so much LESS out of position than calhanoglu on the left..

borini on the left is not only out of position, its out of football

VanBasten
VanBasten
4 years ago
Reply to  Perfect10

agree.silva used to play on left wing before..

Nesta1
Nesta1
4 years ago

I’d like to see a 442 we have quality strikers and 433 lone striker can get isolated.kessie,biglia midfield Suso rw borini lw till Bono fit, Cutrone Silva strikers

tino p
4 years ago

well let’s all give d couch a chance, I am positive dat milan will win

I believe in milan I love milan

Chuky
Chuky
4 years ago

Montella will sack himself, mark my words. this guy is not thinking big that’s why people like Montolivo are still starters.

Mads
Mads
4 years ago

Would Montolivo just please have his season ending injury already! Can’t believe that after the summer we had, we are still starting Monty and Abate. Why not start Calabria (probably spelled.incorrectly)? Give the young man a chance.

+milan
+milan
4 years ago
Reply to  Mads

and yet you call yourself a human being……

Baresis Dream
Baresis Dream
4 years ago

Must win match.

I really hope that the international break didn’t wear Biglia out. We already lost Conti to the break, although I guess I prefer Abete as a starting RB,; especially against Lazio.

We should expect minutes from Jack and Loca, which hopefully will contribute.

Frankilan
Frankilan
4 years ago

Montella won’t last this season… Cutrone doesn’t involve in d play like Silva n Lazio z good with possession, hakan z a pure midfielder n has nufin 2 do with d wings, Montolivo z jst lyk a wound on our skin dat we refuse to treat, especting it 2 heal itself…. Niang shuld neva hav left at least NT until January, we gon regret dat descision but nevadlezz Still bleeding red n black, FORZA MILAN

Agni
Agni
4 years ago

My only concern would be

Hakan on the wing and montolivo as mezalla, but the good news is we got bonaventura and locatelli for cover if things don’t go as planned.

Anyways looking for another 3 points.

Good luck milan. Make a statement, this is a game everyone will be watching with spotlight on milan.

Agni
Agni
4 years ago

I don’t know but it sucks to see some top class talents either sit on the bench or played out of position. I am referring to silva, Loca sitting out and hakan playing as a winger. I know montella can’t play everyone in the game but at least play your best players in their natural positions. 4-3-1-2 and 4-3-2-1 are the best formations for me. It will make the best use of suso and hakan as trequartista​ or attacking mids behind lone striker depending on which formation we are playing. Anyways montella is the man on the hot seat. So… Read more »

Milanista121
Milanista121
4 years ago
Reply to  Agni

“it sucks to see some top class talents either sit on the bench…” tell that to Real Madrid 😉
Having an equally good bench as starting line up is what we need, it’s a strange feeling though after so many years of mediocrity.

John
John
4 years ago

Last season Chelsea choked with d 4-3-3 until dey started playing with 3-4-3(conte preferred formation). Last season Madrid won d double with 4-3-3. The truth is I prefer a coach playing with what He knows best. Having said that I need dis coach should find a way to alter our formation. 4-3-3 is gud but I will want to see more of 4-3-2-1 with suso and hakan behind d strikers(gud passing and shotting qualities). Bonaventura in midfield b/c he has a way of bringing the ball out of dere. And pls start playing ur main striker as starter. Harry Kane… Read more »

Pray_For_Milan
Pray_For_Milan
4 years ago

Montella won’t change his 4-3-3 if he wanted to he would have done so by now. I still wonder if he is the one who wanted most of these signings if he is gonna make a €38m acquisition a squad player and a €20m also a squad player only to play him out of position. He knew before signing him that he is an Attacking midfielder. He should have just signed a CM instead of Hakan, someone who’ll be useful to his tactics. He saw that last season we didn’t have good wingers who are good at 1v1 and can… Read more »