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Not the best performance, but another nice win.

first of all, I did not like the selection of Brahim on the left and Krunic in the middle. Even if Krunic scored. i'd say we missed a link between midfield and attack I would have seen with Hakan or even Brahim there. this is turn led to some of the problems we had in transition and finding ways through their pressing. Add to that some sloppy passing from many players, Dalot, Tonali, Kjaer and Theo all lost the ball due to bad or dangerous passes. Kessie was still a rock though. and just as Krunic had problems finding space in the middle, Brahim looked awkward on the left and when he in fact scored it was when he ran through the middle of the pitch.

Dalot looked really bad early on and all Celtic danger came from his side, but he seemed to grow into the game and was more solid late on.
Tonali have not grown tactically into the team and he dont have a great understanding with his teammates yet. Way to many wayward passes. I do like his composed defending though, like Kessie and Kjaer he dont go down on the ground and instead use timing and his body to win the ball.

Very composed goal by Hauge. good touch and movement to get in position for the finish.
Castillejo was slightly improved in this game.
 

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Yes, didnt fancy Brahim on the wings; he looks better as an AM for distribution. I assume Pioli placed Krunic for aerial duel perhaps?
 

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Also Debut in EL with Milan; nice finish there; very happy for the lad & Brahim too.
 

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Yes, didnt fancy Brahim on the wings; he looks better as an AM for distribution. I assume Pioli placed Krunic for aerial duel perhaps?
I think he played him because he like him tactically and didnt dare rest Kessie. Really he just wanted a slightly more defensive balance for an away game with Celtic.
 

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I think he played him because he like him tactically and didnt dare rest Kessie. Really he just wanted a slightly more defensive balance for an away game with Celtic.
Sigh, that's where we're missing Bakayoko the most.
 

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Discussion Starter #127
Sigh, that's where we're missing Bakayoko the most.
We did give it a go for him, but it seems Chelsea were playing hardball in the negotiations. And if we had signed him, perhaps that would have meant not signing Tonali.
 

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I would start :

Donna 2
Dalot Kjaer Roma Theo (who do we have as a back up for him?)
Tonali Krunic
Samu Diaz Leao
Colombo/Maldini

Put Ibra on if things go badly :)
 

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Dalot can play LB apparently. But otherwise our best chance is to get Maldini there. If Zlatan can, Paolo can.

I think we can afford to "rest" a bit here, and perhaps lose some points if forced. Priority has to be Serie A but I guess when you win, it helps in every way.
 

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Discussion Starter #132
Perhaps we'll see a similar level of rotation to that which was deployed against Celtic. A mixture of first team players and subs.

Rebic might be on the bench against Sparta. Great to have him back. He played well post-lockdown last season as a striker, so hopefully Pioli starts to give him minutes in this role so Ibra gets more rest. As Leao is playing well, there is no pressure on needing to play Rebic for EL and Serie A for significant minutes.
 

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Discussion Starter #133
Our Europa League adventure continues tonight against Sparta Praha.

Predicted XI:

Tatarusanu
Calabria --- Kjaer --- Romagnoli --- Dalot
Tonali --- Bennacer
Castillejo --- Krunic --- Diaz
Ibrahimovic​

As with the Celtic match, Pioli is taking a mixed approach with rotating a few players. He noted that Dalot can play either flank and tonight we'll see how he does in place of Theo.

Rebic will not make it onto the bench, so he is out along with Musacchio (still recovering from injury) and the COVID positives (Donnarumma, Gabbia, Hauge).

Kick-off 18.55 CET
 

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Discussion Starter #135
Problem with resting Kjaer is that the only option is Duarte, who doesn't have the minutes in his legs and also is a significant downgrade in terms of quality. Once Gabbia returns he should get a rest.

Similar with Ibra... once Rebic is back hopefully Pioli starts resting him more (whether he goes Rebic as striker or Leao).

Hopefully Samu-Krunic-Diaz can get the job done, but if needs be Pioli can throw Alexis-Hakan-Leao into the game later and good luck to Sparta in dealing with that switch.
 

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Discussion Starter #137
1-0 thanks to Diaz

He just took a hard challenge, landed badly. Should sub him off IMO in case of concussion.

So far we're comfortably the better team and with better finishing would have had more.
 

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Discussion Starter #138
Ibra hits the woodwork on his PK. Shame, as it would make an easier decision for Pioli to rest him in the second half.
 

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Discussion Starter #139
Diaz our best player in the first half. Ibra involved as usual but sloppy. Two headers he could have done better with, and a missed PK. Krunic with a tidy performance but also very wasteful with a chance he had. Tonali needs time to develop and impose his game. He isn't playing badly, but certainly a huge difference between him and Bennacer/Kessie.
 

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Ibra could have sealed the game in the first half; Diaz best player so far
 
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