Juventus
    Juventus
      09.11.2019 11:00 - in: Serie A S

      Opposition Watch: Milan

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      Learning more about the team coached by Stefano Pioli

      Coming off the back of a 2-1 home defeat against Lazio, Milan have so far acquired just 13 points in the standings: four wins, a draw and six losses. Since Stefano Pioli's arrival on the bench (in place of Marco Giampaolo), the Rossoneri have won just one match (Spal), drawn another (Lecce), and have lost the rest (Roma and Lazio).

      The Rossoneri's top-scorer is Piatek with three goals (he is also the first choice penalty taker, alternating with Kessié), followed by Calhanoglu and Theo Hernandez with two goals. The latter is undoubtedly the new face of Milan who until now, has had the biggest impact at the club. The Frenchman, born in 1997, arrived in the summer from Real Madrid after spending the previous season on loan to Real Sociedad. He is a left-back that boasts great excelleration and also has a flair for goals, as shown by the two he has already scored for his club. In the last few fixtures, the Algerian Bennacer (who Africa Cup of Nations in the summer), has been getting more game time alongside Krunic.

      Practically guaranteed to be between the posts is Donnarumma: the Milan goalkeeper has played every game except for the away match at Marassi against Genoa, where Reina saved a decisive last-minute penalty. In defence, Romagnoli is the star, as well as captain, and he is in his fifth consecutive season at the club.

      An incisive attack

      With only 35% of shots on target, (the lowest figure in the entire Serie A) Milan, both under the leadership of Gianpaolo and that of Pioli, has been playing since the beginning of the season with a sterility in front of goal (11 goals scored in total). This represents a real problem for the Rossoneri, as they’re currently situated in 11th place in the standings.

      Even the change of tacticians on the bench, after seven match days, has not yet produced the desired results. Milan dribbles from their own backline with a certain ease, but once going beyond the middle line, they struggle to find the necessary outlets to allow their attackers to threaten the opposition's goal.

      Their possession is; therefore, rather sterile but in the match drawn at home against Lecce - Pioli’s first game in charge - is where they were able to produce a decent amount of shots at goal (19 shots of which nine were on target). In that case, some defensive distractions prevented the Rossoneri from gaining the much-needed three points. Generally, the Milan defence, on average, does not concede a lot in front of goal (129 shots overall).

      Their team balance, therefore, is rather precarious… Their philosophy is one which seems to aim for greater coverage in the middle of the park, but only to the detriment of their offensive department, as they are often left guilty of isolating Çalhanoğlu, Piatek and Suso, who have arguably not been at their best this season.

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