Match Time: Wednesday 1:45 PM Eastern US, 8:45 P.M (Italy time). GMT + 1
Match Location: Stadio San Siro, Milan, Italy
It’s Coppa Italia semi-final rossoneri! This time our team will face Lazio, with the first leg concluded 0-0 and therefore this is an open match. Both teams are in a negative moment: the Rossoneri have collected only one victory in the last 5 games (just against Lazio at the San Siro, thanks to a penalty by Kessié), while the Biancocelesti have lost the last match against Chievo and they have won only two challenges in the last six (the last against Udinese, in the recovery race on 17 April).
However, let’s remember that in the last edition of Coppa Italia, Milan eliminated Lazio in penalties achieving the finals of the tournament. The team needs to react after the disappointing draw against Parma, there’s no more time, Champions League spot is at risk so a win against Lazio can give the boost to face the last five matches of Serie A in the best way.
Moreover, Gattuso spoke to Milan TV on the eve of the match:
- About the match: “It will be a crucial match, we struggled during the first leg but our games against them have always been hard-fought. We come into this game after the 0-0 from the first leg and we have to give it our all because it is an important objective for AC Milan reaching the Tim Cup final and we need to put a great performance. Lazio are a team that create a lot of chances, they are good at combining physical strenght with good technique and speed and I believe we have to avoid conceeding a goal because are worth double “.
- About the problems with Lazio: “There are other fatigued teams as well as us because the season has been challenging but I firmly believe that home game against Lazio with roughly 57.000-60.000 fans will be fundamental for us. There were controversies two weeks ago and we have to be smart enough to move on and set an example for Italian football. We have to be ready. Behave with humility and respect, the clash should be focused only on the pitch, putting everything else aside.”
- About the team situation: “The first half against Parma was played with low intensity, I was not impressed with our approach to the game against Parma. Ibelieve pur main problem in not the formation but rather our approach towards certain games or how we take to the field. We also have to make up for our last match because we basically gave away 45 minutes of the game. However, I want to see at this moment of the season players biting at the bit, a hungry and balanced team on the pitch that is willing to dig deep for a win.”
Meanwhile, Rino Gattuso will change lineup and players in one of the most important games of the season. Milan should indeed play with a 3 man defense, with Mattia Caldara from the first minute (second seasonal presence for him after the one in Europe League against Dudelange). The former Atalanta player should lead the defensive line in front of Pepe Reina, with Musacchio and Romagnoli at his sides. Calabria and Laxalt would act as side midfielders, with Kessié and Bakayoko acting as a defensive midfielders. Upfront with Suso and Castillejo on the sides of Piątek.
On the other side, Lazio with the usual fantasy form with all the tenors from the first minute. Lucas Leiva, Milinkovic, Luis Alberto, Correa and Immobile. Inzaghi will have to play without Radu, injured in the match against Chievo, an ankle problem. In his place, as the center-left, Acerbi is ready, with Luiz Felipe at the center of the defense. Usually 3-5-1-1. Strakosha in the net, Bastos, Luiz Felipe and Acerbi in defense. On the lanes space to Romulo (favorite on Marusic) and captain Lulic. In the middle, Luis Alberto, Leiva and Milinkovic. Forward open runoff between Caicedo and Correa (ahead) to support Immobile.
In conclusion, it won’t be an easy game, Lazio wants the final as same as we want it so we will need to give all we have, play with grit and with hungry as Rino said. We must respect our opponent, play focused in order to win this match and reach the TIM Cup final. Our guys can do it. Forza Ragazzi!