Suso-Kalinić expected to play up front against Samp, Borini to get a start as a right wingback in the 5-man midfield?

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Fabio Borini during training at Milanello. (@acmilan.com)
Fabio Borini during training at Milanello. (@acmilan.com)

Fabio Borini could be starting on Sunday as a right wingback as he’s been tested there this week, while Jack seems favourite over Hakan at this point.

Milan face Sampdoria at Stadio Luigi Ferraris on Sunday at 12:30 CET (you can check the football betting odds for the match and place a bet) and it seems that coach Montella is once again going to make changes in the line-up.

According to this morning’s La Gazzetta dello Sport, the big surprise in the starting XI could be Fabio Borini. Montella already hinted after Andrea Conti’s injury that a ‘forward’ could be replacing the ex-Atalanta man, who is out for six months due to an ACL injury, and tomorrow may be the time to test Borini in this role.

Things are not yet definitive and Ignazio Abate or Davide Calabria could still get this role in Genova but La Gazzetta writes that Borini, who came to Milan from Sunderland this summer, has been tried this week in this role. The 26-year-old hasn’t been used since Milan lost 4-1 to Lazio.

Giacomo Bonaventura and Nikola Kalinić celebrating during Milan-Udinese at Stadio San Siro on the September 17, 2017. (Photo by Claudio Villa/Getty Images)
Giacomo Bonaventura and Nikola Kalinić celebrating during Milan-Udinese at Stadio San Siro on the September 17, 2017. (Photo by Claudio Villa/Getty Images)

André Silva, after playing 90 minutes on Wednesday, will most likely start from the bench again with Nikola Kalinić and Suso getting the nod. One of Giacomo Bonaventura and Hakan Çalhanoğlu will play in midfield and at the moment Jack is the favourite. Manuel Locatelli, meanwhile, will most likely play on Thursday against Rijeka in the Europa League (21:05 CET kickoff at Stadio San Siro).

Cristian Zapata is expected to start, leaving Mateo Musacchio on the bench for the second match in a row, but the decision regarding the center backs could change after the final training which will take place at Milanello today. Ricardo Rodriguez will get another start as a left-sided wingback.

Montella said after the match with SPAL that it is fundamental to rotate the squad and it fact, the Rossoneri boss has yet to use the same XI twice this season: Milan have played 10 matches so far in all competitions, and have had 10 different starting XI’s. Tomorrow could be number 11, but there are always the same certainties: Donnarumma, Bonucci, Kessié and after returning from injury – Biglia.

Here is the list of minutes played by Milan players after the 10 matches of the season, according to Saturday’s morning edition of La Gazzetta dello Sport (* – has already left the club):

Player NamePositionAgeMinutes Played
Gianluigi DonnarummaGoalkeeper18810
Franck KessiéMidfielder20782
Leonardo BonucciDefender30720
Ricardo RodriguezDefender25630
Mateo MusacchioDefender27556
SusoForward23551
Cristian ZapataDefender30540
Hakan ÇalhanoğluMidfielder23458
Patrick CutroneForward19442
André SilvaForward21431
Fabio BoriniForward26400
Lucas BigliaMidfielder31379
Riccardo MontolivoMidfielder32360
Ignazio AbateDefender30341
Andrea ContiDefender23334
Giacomo BonaventuraMidfielder28328
Alessio RomagnoliDefender22299
Luca AntonelliDefender30280
Davide CalabriaDefender20270
Nikola KalinićForward29255
Manuel LocatelliMidfielder19254
M'Baye Niang*Forward22180
Josè MauriMidfielder21102
Marco StorariGoalkeeper4090
Niccolò ZanellatoMidfielder1990
Matteo GabbiaMidfielder1717
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jahycee dah jahsrael
jahycee dah jahsrael
2 years ago

borini? ? ? anyway na way sha!!!

Ricardo Leite
Ricardo Leite
2 years ago

Both a good n bad side to this rotation thing
THE GOOD: Players can go on strong for a longer span of the season
THE BAD: We may struggle with finding an identity or a precise starting11

Hope we get a good cover for Kessie too cos he too needs a healthy competition to keep his perfomances top notch

Klum
Klum
2 years ago
Reply to  Ricardo Leite

Kessies cover isn’t coming until January. It will most likely be Karem Demirbay of Hoffenheim.

Amalsadanandan
Amalsadanandan
2 years ago
Reply to  Klum

Demirbay and kessie have different characteristics..
Demirbay is pure attacking midfielder
Fofana and jankuto of udinese are ideal replacements
Or duncan

Milanista121
Milanista121
2 years ago
Reply to  Amalsadanandan

Jankto is a winger, how is he an ideal replacement? Fofana or Duncan tho, I agree, but Duncan is Ghanian if I recall correctly, so it would be weird to sign him if both him and Kessie are off to AFCON?

Myk
Myk
2 years ago
Reply to  Milanista121

The AFCON is now in the summer so it doesn’t impact players anymore.

obiorah nweke
obiorah nweke
2 years ago

Comment:borini can be of good value, since we have Zapata to cover up, besides borini looks defensive minded based on his physicality and ruggedness, on the other hakan needs to be fixed properly cos he can be frustrated in the future, locatelli must be played, suso must learn to adapt and play maturely now the 4-3-3 is no more

nick
nick
2 years ago

Montella doesn’t know the fundamental principles of coaching. You need a core starting 11 to represent the spine of the team to give the players consistency in playing with each other in their strongest position. Too much flip flopping with the formation and starting 11 will lead to more disjointed plays and frustration within the team. Lippi was at the San Siro during the game against Spal. I hope there is something more to that come January. We desperately need a big coach to build confidence in the players. Montella acting like a FIFA football manager and not like a… Read more »

Ink
Ink
2 years ago
Reply to  nick

You don’t coach Serie A teams for 6 and a half years without knowing the fundamental principles of coaching. Just look at Brocchi.

nick
nick
2 years ago
Reply to  Ink

So why is Montella consistently disrupting the chemistry of the team with changing the players, playing them out of their natural position and constantly changing the formation?

That doesn’t sound like a coach with any understanding the basics of being a football manager/coaching.

Myk
Myk
2 years ago
Reply to  nick

We’ve played 4 games in 10 days and have another 3 in 7. It would be stupid not to rotate.

This is the advantage that Inter will have over us this year. Coupled with the fact that we will need to make a deep Europa run and possibly win it for it to be worth it. Montella has to manage his squad very well while still creating an identity

Silver
Silver
2 years ago

Good to hear that Suso might start. He hasn’t been good as a second striker but he needs time there.
Borini as RWB? With Conti injured, this is our weakest point on the field. I have no idea how good or bad he might be there and I will leave my judgement for after the game.
Also would be nice to see Bonaventura back in the first 11.

Milanista121
Milanista121
2 years ago

People use Moses as an example for why Borini can be used in that position, as if Borini and Moses are exactly the same type of players… The one thing they have in common is stamina. I get the whole rotation policy, and i hope that Montella only uses it now because he wants to give the players a shot to prove themselves. Otherwise, having a clear and starting line up – line up, not a few individuals – is key, and with the constant rotation, some players might not feel the need to prove themselves since they know they’ll… Read more »

Baresis Dream
Baresis Dream
2 years ago

Obvious question: Why not use Calabria instead of Borini, in particular, after Calabria’s performance against Udi.

Rotation is important when you are playing in Europe, in particular with the fragility our players have shown in the last seasons. But, at seria a we should always lineup our stongest 11; leave experimentations to Euronothing League.

Alexmilan
Alexmilan
2 years ago
Reply to  Baresis Dream

The only explanation is that Montella wants to give minutes to Borini and it’s impossible by playing him in attack where he is not that good ( disaster on the wings ) and he found this solution. He has Calabria and Abate but Borini came here at his request and he wants to give minutes to him. I don’t agree with this fact but we will see what’s happening tomorrow. We need point/points against Sampdoria

Baresis Dream
Baresis Dream
2 years ago
Reply to  Alexmilan

Yeah, could be alexmilan. But honestly Borini has gotten more than his fair share of minutes so far, and Calabria also deserves minutes after his last performance.

But who knows? Maybe Borini looked great on the wing in training, or maybe Calabria will start after all.

Agni
Agni
2 years ago

Why borini montella.
Squad rotation is good but quality of starting XI should not be compromised.
We have abate and Calabria, then why borini.
Or you want to screw up first and then fix .

Anyways good luck milan.
Win win and only win.

BeGo
BeGo
2 years ago
Reply to  Agni

I should point out that Abate is an AMR / WR in His youth, before converted to WB in senior team. 🙂

So, why not Borini?

Ink
Ink
2 years ago

Borini should be a Poli-type player at best; coming on from the bench at the end of a match to run after the ball and spend time. Not a starter. Great buy, fasobelli.

Locatelli needs to get more playing time. Biglia is old, he will get injured sooner or later, so it is better to use Biglia more sparingly, not for every three days. Save him for the later stages of the season when midfield will start to look bad.
Loca should phase in that position instead of being in the fringes.

Milanista121
Milanista121
2 years ago
Reply to  Ink

Loca should’ve played against SPAL and Biglia again against Samp as he probably will, then Loca again on thursday.
It’s nice that we have the luxury to rotate them with each other, huge difference from past seasons, and one that could be key.

Alexmilan
Alexmilan
2 years ago
Reply to  Ink

Biglia is not old yet, he can play at highest level until 35-36 years, he’s essential for this team, Locatelli should learn from him and grow behind him by playing from time to time ( he has all the time in the world, he’s 19 years old and he is already involved in the first team regularly, like Calabria and Cutrone )

Baresis Dream
Baresis Dream
2 years ago
Reply to  Ink

Biglia should play seria a, and have Loca and Monty rotate for Euronothing league.

Pray_For_Milan
Pray_For_Milan
2 years ago

Too much rotation will lead to confusion from the team.

Sheva
Sheva
2 years ago

That’s what Im talking about. Experiment until we get smashed again then loose your shit and try new formation. For f sake Sampdoria is not an easy game.

rosso138
rosso138
2 years ago
Reply to  Sheva

Only logical reason why would anyone start Borini on RWB (or at all) is to make opponent attack and open up on that side… And then Suso comes in on the right…

But somehow I don’t think that is what Montella is trying to do..

Puang Machink
Puang Machink
2 years ago

In this new Milan, rotation means “still dont know enough how your teams will play”

Pardon me coach, but we need fundamental starting 11. Just to make sure that we could grab 3 poin in each game.
Playing time? Cmon coach, every Milan player must knows, that if they dont good enough, so they cant play. Just that simple.

Kourosh
Kourosh
2 years ago

Calabria must definitely start if he’s not injured in my opinion. It’s better to try Borini there in Europa League if we must, I don’t see why though. Abate and Calabria are enough. Borini could do well as the second striker in 3-5-2, so maybe try him there in some easy matches?

Also yeah, Locatelli deserves to play more, he should start the less important matches like in Europa League. Against Samp Biglia is a must though. Problem is Montolivo, he’s eating up Locatelli’s minutes.

Alexmilan
Alexmilan
2 years ago
Reply to  Kourosh

Agreed on Borini, he should start in the games without so much importance or when we will have a lot of injuries and he will be a good solution, as a striker or second striker or RWB ( if Montella says so ). In this moment we have Abate and Calabria to rotate on RWB and Kalinic, Silva, Cutrone and Suso to rotate in the striker and second striker positions. For now we don’t need Borini. But I think Montella feels guilty for requesting Borini and he wants to give him minutes

Baresis Dream
Baresis Dream
2 years ago
Reply to  Kourosh

Spot on. Europa league is the place for experimentation, not seria a. Samp is no easy game.

AC4M
AC4M
2 years ago

always the same *

PLAYING AGAINST SAMPDORIA in their home… with… Zapata and Borini when you have Musacchio and Abate… oh god why Conti why u are too good!

MONTELLA HAD THE PLAYERS he wanted…. IF he fails to qualify for champions league……………… SARRI IS THERE!

and btw where is Çalhanoglu and André Silva? or even Cutrone? Suso can’t play there and he has been poor.

this guy thinks this is OSM… where u can (and should) rotate the team EVERY GAME.

AntiFat
AntiFat
2 years ago

this useless montella and his rotation policy is making me get tired of acmilan as a team. montella is not the coach to lead Milan to where we want to be in next 3 years. how can he not have a constant first 11???

Alexmilan
Alexmilan
2 years ago
Reply to  AntiFat

for now he has won 9 of 10 games. Let’s wait and see what it will happen

Ali
Ali
2 years ago
Reply to  Alexmilan

That’s so biased… 6 against poor teams like Skendja or whatever! The rest against bottom half teams.

Alexmilan
Alexmilan
2 years ago
Reply to  Ali

You win the title by winning all against the little teams

scogamontana
2 years ago

He’s the coach and knows what he’s doing Milan fans we complain every week and every players that were field in the first 11 and AC4M Zapata played more difficult game than against sampdoria so chill even sampdoria as their weak support .

AC4M
AC4M
2 years ago

Some players Milan should take a look next season or January!!

Jakub Jankto (January)
Kerem Demirbay ( Hoffeinhem)
Nicoló Barella (Cagliari)
Erik Lamela (Tottenham)
Papu Gomez (this guy is carrying Atalanta…)
Pelegri (Genoa)
Cavani (like him a lot… very underrated ST….problems with PSG and knows Serie A well)
Caldara (great great greaaat CB!)
Ross Barkley (ends contract next season and seems he’s not continuing in Everton… he’s strong as Kessie.

and a replacement for Ricardo Rodriguez.

Alexmilan
Alexmilan
2 years ago
Reply to  AC4M

The priorities are a good CM ( maybe two ) and a good winger to be capable of playing also 4-3-3 or 3-4-3, to be a complete team. And maybe a CB, but a different profile than Bonucci, Roma and Musa. Antonelli is ok as replacement for Rodriguez, you can’t have two world class players in the same position and one to be a starter and the other one to be a reserve. Abate and Antonelli are the perfect back ups for RR and Conti ( when he’ll be back ) and Calabria can play the both sides, RWB and… Read more »

AC4M
AC4M
2 years ago
Reply to  Alexmilan

You forgot that Antonelli and Calabria are injured, if Rodriguez gets injured who is going to play?

If we want to win titles we need more players…. do you think this Milan is able to win Napoli, Roma or Rubentus?

Also we need a new medical team…

Ali
Ali
2 years ago
Reply to  AC4M

Caldara is a Juve player my dear friend.

AC4M
AC4M
2 years ago
Reply to  Ali

Bonucci also “was” a Juve player… didn’t understand what u wanted to say.

Ali
Ali
2 years ago
Reply to  AC4M

Bonucci was a different story, he wanted to move himself. I don’t think Caldara wants that too. Remember Pjaca, Bentacur or Keita (even though he joined Monaco, he rejected us and preferred to wait for Juve)? Juve is a hard nut to crack.

bidonesia
bidonesia
2 years ago

Samp is strong side, better if we put Cala / Abate @ RWB, if Montella want to rotate with Borini it should be LWB vs Rijeka cuz if RR get injure, we don’t have other natural LWB then we will be doomed @ next month fixture…

diamondwhales
diamondwhales
2 years ago

To me,i think is not a must to use the same tactics in every game. using 352 in all games isn’t the solution.the use of 352 has been giving montella problem in his team selection.he like to play the like of suso every weeks,but suso is not good at his current role.he is good at the wing

Kourosh
Kourosh
2 years ago

Latest reports suggests Abate and Calabria are both injured and out of the squad for this match. Well, now it makes sense.

Milanista121
Milanista121
2 years ago
Reply to  Kourosh

Seriously? Our luck with injuries… imagine that at the beginning of the season we thought that three fullbacks on the right – Conti, Calabria, Conti – would be too much for one position…apparently not smh… ” 🙂 “

Baresis Dream
Baresis Dream
2 years ago
Reply to  Kourosh

For [email protected]*k sakes!

nana
nana
2 years ago

Calabr

nana
nana
2 years ago

Calabria is injured guys n will not play. Can’t believe how many times our players get injured so often even when not in match days. Just when he was integrating into his new role which he did very well against Udine, boom, he is injured

osas
2 years ago

Milan still have mountains to climb in terms of on field moments ,and seriously we r not title contenders for now,for some of us that watched the match of Roma vs udinese ,that’s how champions play football to win,it was classy from Roma players and we struggled against the same udinese team,and after Napoli vs Lazio match I knew we were heavily beaten by a team not even considered title contenders ,Mr montella needs to forget this rotation thing and get together strong starting eleven to gel and play fluid football,other big clubs don’t rotate like we do and still… Read more »

Wale
2 years ago

I will always say this until we have change of coach. Milan problem is Montella, imagine after 10 official match Montella still don’t understand is prayers n don’t have starting 11.

Ewaen
Ewaen
2 years ago

Montella needs a good fitness trainer, too many injuries because of poor fitness.
Montella has too many good players who do not necessarily fit into the only formation he likes;433. It looked to me that he got confused during the transfer window.
Worse still, he will not get us to where we want to be, because players will get fed up with his rotation and lack of continuity.
My verdict…….
Milan needs a tactically astute coach and I see that hapoening at the end of the season.