In The Red: Palermo – Milan

Once upon a time, the matches between Palermo and Milan were massively entertaining spectacles between two of the premier sides in Serie A. This year, both sides are barely recognizable, not just because of the unknown names on each squad but also the style of play and place in the standings. Palermo and Milan have struggled mightily to begin the 2012-13 season. Neither is content with the showing so far and each desperately need three points from tonight’s fixture. The names and numbers might not be there but the match will still produce the fireworks seen in the past.

Palermo heads into this game off the back of two consecutive cleansheets. The problem is that while the defense has been excellent, the offense has been anemic. When Miccoli doesn’t score, nobody scores. And given the poor game Miccoli had against Siena, the fact that nobody else stepped up is cause for concern and gives life to the rumors of signing a striker in January. To his credit, Miccoli took full responsibility for not securing the three points against Siena. He had the best chances to score and didn’t take advantage of them, but the team needs to move on and others need to step up and provide help.

Gasperini has promised no turnover for the Milan match. The only question mark was in regards to Munoz, who had yet another monster of a game despite sustaining a leg injury that required stitches. He toughed it out and performed well. It looks like he’ll be able to play though. If for some reason he doesn’t, Gasperini would opt for Mantovani in his place, while Santiago Garcia would get the nod in the midfield. The style of play is there. Many would say that Palermo deserved three points from each of the last two games, but the results have not come yet. Had Palermo won those last two games, the outlook would be decidedly different than what it is right now.

Milan have been woeful. They have completely rid themselves of the old guard and their team now consists of new faces and plenty of youth to a once-aging side. Allegri has been at the center of constant criticism for the way he has Milan playing and the lack of results domestically and abroad. He finally has gotten the original Glass Man back in the form of Pato and can deploy him from the start against Palermo. Joining him is the main bright spot for Milan this year: the young Pharaoh, Stephan El Shaarawy. The Italian leads Milan with six goals and has truly showed why Milan put all their faith in him. He’s dangerous from anywhere on the pitch and Palermo’s defense will have to make sure they keep an eye on him tonight.

Probable Palermo Lineup

Munoz – Donati – Von Bergen
Morganella – Kurtic – Barreto – Mantovani
Ilicic – Brienza

Palermo bench: Benussi; Cetto, Garcia, Labrin, Pisano; Bertolo, Giorgi, Rios, Viola, Zahavi; Budan, Dybala

Milan sit only three points away from Palermo, who on seven points are joint third last with Chievo and Bologna. The Rosanero have the luxury of playing at home where historically they’ve performed well against the Rossoneri. A win would put Palermo level on points with Milan and provide a spark to the team that decidedly need one. In order to get the three points, though, Palermo need goals. Should the triumvirate of Miccoli, Ilicic and Brienza not produce, Gasperini will need to make a change sooner than he did versus Siena. Dybala was lively in the small amount of minutes he received and Budan has yet to earn significant playing time. Both could prove useful against a once-stalwart defense that now features players like Bonera and Yepes. Milan have a tendency of shipping away goals away from home (7) but they also score frequently away from home (7). Palermo need to play as well as they have in the last two games while being more lethal in front of goal. This is a match that could dictate how the rest of the matches prior to the winter break play out. Milan could be the right team to break out.


13 thoughts on “In The Red: Palermo – Milan

  1. It makes sense to go with the same starting 11 – if they’ll all healthy. Hopefully the Barbera crowd can inspire a goal or two. Not sure I’d describe Munoz’s recent performances as monster-like … but he seems to have taken to the 3-man back line and is playing much better. Forza Palermo !

  2. A win would be a huge boost. Things look bleak in Palermo, and certainly its never good to be in 18th place, but outside of the top few, the league is very close. Only 5 points separates Palermo from 7th place…

  3. Solid – solid – solid first half… too bad about Donati but our midfield has so much disruptive energy it’s a treat to watch… even Illicic has grasped the concept – he’s not trying to do too much – love it !

  4. Penalty. Goal. Micolli.

    Thank God it was given to, because Morganella should have earned one twice in one play earlier.

    And as I type, Brienza with a great goal after half. 2-0 Palermo

  5. I know it feels disheartening to get a draw after being up 2-nil but we have to take the positives from this game. Thought the substitutions were questionable when we were 2-nil up. Colossal game from Morganella !

  6. To defensive after 2-0 lead. No treat in counterattacs (Micolli on low batteries- and no substitution possibile). On the end, Palermo can be happy with one point. But bad taste reminds after 2-0 lead. And loosing three points like that, can be bad for future games like that one.

  7. Gasperini got it all right. And then he went ahead and got it all wrong.

    That’s 6 points dropped in the last three weeks we should have eaten.

  8. Not sure why Brienza had to come out, game changed for the worse because of that sub.

    Also how was Donati allowed to start? Surely any decent fitness coach could have seen he wasn’t going to make it

  9. Gasp definitely can write this one in his book of errors. We controlled the game and lost it all after the substitutions. Wasn’t impressed by Giorgi either.

    Shame about losing 2 points. It’s unbelievable this team is still lingering around the relegation zone, because from what I’ve seen yesterday, there’s enough quality.

    • Agreed On that second part. After the last two games, I’m actually optimistic about this season again (mid-table type optimistic, but still…)

      I was actually excited watching Palermo yesterday. Prior to that its almost been a chore the play was so blah

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