Italian football is back. Serie A starts up on June 20, but Coppa Italia action gets started even earlier. The first match will be on June 12, where AC Milan face Juventus for the second leg of the semi-finals. The first leg, played on February 13, ended in a 1-1 draw. Ante Rebic opened up the scoring for Milan in the San Siro, but Juventus clawed back with a last-gasp Cristiano Ronaldo penalty.
The second leg will surely be heated, and Milan have everything to fight for already down on away goals. The Coppa Italia final will be shortly after, on June 17.
Coppa Italia Semi-finals: AC Milan Outlook
Predicted XI: Defence
According to Corriere Dello Sport, Milan will be fielding a somewhat familiar defence. Gianluigi Donnarumma starting in goal is a definite. He is, by far, the Rossoneri‘s most reliable player. Furthermore, he’s a game-changer in so many ways.
The centre-back pairing will feature Alessio Romagnoli and Simon Kjaer. Romagnoli is the captain and an unquestionable starter. Kjaer solidified his place in the XI after arriving in January and has been reliable for the most part.
Things get interesting when looking at the fullbacks. First of all, Theo Hernandez is unavailable due to suspension. It’s not a stretch to say Hernandez is one of the best fullbacks in Italy. Andrea Conti likely gets the nod at right-back. A shadow of his former self, Conti will likely struggle with Ronaldo.
Davide Calabria, a natural right-back, will then have to play left-back. Truth be told, Calabria has been disappointing this season. He’s had flashes of brilliance before, however, so Milan fans have to hope for the best.
Predicted XI: Midfield
Milan have struggled in the midfield for years, and this is the best three that they can currently feature. Bennacer is a borderline world-class talent – his patience on the ball, passing ability, and willingness to track back continues to grow. This season he’s shined as the focal point of the centre of the field, and expect more of the same versus Juventus.
Bonaventura, due to constant injuries, isn’t as productive as years before. It’s apparent that he’s slower and also ageing. With this being said, he’s known to have a few tricks up his sleeve. He’s a sneaky good goal scorer and has shined in big games in the past.
Kessie is often hit-or-miss. One game he can seem like a stellar box-to-box midfielder, and another game he’ll lose possession and take far too many long-distance shots. One thing that can’t be questioned, however, is his motor. If Kessie’s on his game, don’t rule out Milan.
Predicted XI: Attack
The notable omission is Zlatan Ibrahimovic. The Swede is still recovering from a minor calf injury. On June 4, Milan said they would reevaluate him in ten days. This is a major loss for a match of this magnitude.
Rebic, however, caught fire prior to the season’s postponement. Much of this may be attributed to Ibrahimovic’s presence, but Rebic will surely look to return to that form.
Calhanoglu is also a hit-or-miss player. He may score an amazing goal from 30 yards out, or be wasteful in possession. He knows he’s likely fighting to stay at the club, however.
Paqueta has flopped this season. Reports since training resumed, however, have been highly positive for the Brazilian. His flair is second to none on the team, which will be important versus Alex Sandro.