Saturday, May 21, 2022

SERIE A 2020-21 SEASON PREVIEW: Can AC Milan restore consistency again?

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When everyone talks about the great clubs in the world, AC Milan is right up there on the list. But they have of late become something akin to a sleeping giant. Ownership fiascos and UEFA’s FFP settlement did not help their cause.

But slowly yet steadily, they are building their way up to achieving European football consistently. Under Stefan Pioli, they are cautiously optimistic that the glory days will return. So do they have what it takes to make the San Siro, a fortress of fear once again?

Transfer Activity

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Milan have so far managed to sign a host of players, mostly converting loans into permanent deals as well as loans with an obligation to buy next season like Sandro Tonali, Brahim Diaz, Simon Kjaer, Alexis Saelemaekers and Tatarasanu. There are also links where there are looking to sign Ante Rebic from Frankfurt on a permanent basis. All in all, Milan have spent wisely and made some really good signings.

Strength

Like most Italian clubs, Pioli and Milan are centred around strengthening the defensive axis whether it is the backline or deep midfield. The physicality they possess from back to front makes them a huge threat from set-pieces as well as floated crosses. Scoring 68 goals and conceding 46 goals, they are a balanced side that will not score a lot – but when they do, they make it count.

Weakness

A big negative in this Milan side is failing to keep their concentration at both boxes. They have tended to miss big chances in the game and are punished later on by late counters and silly mistakes. Another negative is the fact that bar Ibrahimovic and Rebic, no one crossed the 10+ goals mark last season. They need a different option up front and although they have Rafael Leao, more creativity is needed.

Key Player

Zlatan
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Showcasing his class and ability at a variety of clubs, there is no doubt that ‘lion’ Zlatan Ibrahimovic cannot be compared with other human footballers! At 38 years of age, he was impressive with 10 goals and 5 assists last season. What makes Zlatan so effective, is his nous to get into the right areas and pull the trigger. He has built a solid partnership with Hakan Calhanoglu, and that only serves Milan well.

Predicted Table Finish

4th Place: The Rossoneri are a side in the making, and can show progress this season. There is a sense of stability in the club now, with their quest being to qualify for the Champions League. And they definitely have the tools to go about it.

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Bhargav Gopal
Bhargav Gopal
The quintessential football aficionado who knows a thing or two about Economics. One can often find me reading detective novels with coffee when I am away from the sports world.

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