For the first time since taking ownership of Milan in 1986, Silvio Berlusconi returned to the San Siro as an opponent, as Serie A newcomers Monza faced their Lombard rivals in their first Serie A clash. Berlusconi’s cup-bearing era of 31 years brought 29 major trophies in Rossoneri Cabinet, making this emotional meeting one of the most awaited matches in the Italian League table.
Berlusconi helped establish Milan as a top force not only in Serie A but in Europe and beyond. Although the former Italian Prime Minister’s last decade at San Siro saw the club decline both financially and in football, the Rossoneri They have done a good job of recovering in the past few years and have re-established themselves as regular Scudetto players.
Indeed, Milan have adapted quickly to life after Berlusconi as they are the Italian Serie A champions and are vying for back-to-back league titles for the first time in the 21st century. Last weekend’s hard-fought 2-1 win at Hellas Verona netted five victories in six Serie A matches. Rossoneri (L1), keeping them within walking distance of the Naples flagship.
With only three points separating Milan from reclaiming control at the top, Stefano Pioli’s men are unlikely to give their former boss a warm welcome. No stranger to defying the odds, however, Berlusconi has proven throughout his political and football-related career that he enjoys playing as an underdog. You don’t have to look beyond Monza’s historic promotion to Serie A to understand the 86-year-old’s winning mentality.
It took Berlusconi only three years at Monza to give him a place in the First Division for the first time in the club’s history. Based on the team’s recent performances in Serie A, they are very determined to stay here long after this season. However, last weekend’s 1-0 loss to Empoli may have dampened some of the enthusiasm in the visiting camp after Rafael Palladino’s brilliant start on the field. Biancourse.
Except for a disappointing 2-1 home loss to Scudetto hopefuls Napoli on the eve of the international break in September, Milan are unbeaten in their remaining nine Serie A matches this season (W7, D2). Interestingly, the last time Rossoneri They won seven of their opening ten league matches as the defending champion in 1992/93, and went on to defend the title.
Pioli’s men have been relentless since Serie A returned to play in October, winning all three Serie A matches 7-2, including a 2-0 win over Juventus in their last home game. Their impressive domestic form is likely to continue this weekend, considering that Milan have won their last six home matches against newly promoted clubs without conceding a net.
There is another piece of history that underpins Milan’s success. Inter remains the only one of the 10 Lombardy teams that has been defeated Rossoneri In their first encounter in the Italian League (W6, D3). Monza will be the 11th club from Lombardy to face the seven-times European champions in Serie A, but it would be difficult for them to collapse at the San Siro.
The appointment of Palladino as Monza’s new chief of staff proved a turning point in a very poor start to the club’s first Serie A season. Having lost in his first six league games under Giovanni Stropba (D1, L5), Biancourse He had won each of Palladino’s first three Serie A matches before falling behind in Empoli.
Monza’s Achilles heel was their inability to perform outside of Stadio Brianteo. With the exception of a glittering 3-0 playoff for basement kids Sampdoria at the back of the international break, the visitors have been winless in their remaining four trips to the league this season (D1, L3). More importantly, the lack of a vanguard saw them fall for all three defeats in that round.
However, Monza proved they are not afraid to run into big guns in Serie A. Palladino’s debut on the touchline was a resounding success as his team beat Italian champions Juventus 1-0 at home to begin the aforementioned three winning streak. That kind of defensive flexibility is what Monza should rely on if they have a chance at the San Siro.
AC Milan lineup against potential Monza
Milan (4-2-3-1): syriany Tatarusano. Peter Kalolo, Fikayo Tomori, Matteo Gabbia, Theo Hernandez; Sandro Tonali, Ismail bin Nasser; Brahim Diaz, Charles de Kitilari, Rafael Liao; before Rebek.
Monza (3-4-2-1): Michel Di Gregorio Marlon, Pablo Marie, Armando Izzo; Carlos Augusto, Stefano Sensi, Andrea Barberis, Patrick Cioria; Gianluca Capari and Matteo Pesina; Christian Getkair.