There are eight games left in the Serie A season, and the top five teams have all caught up in games played. With 30 games in the book, AC Milan sit second in the league with 63 points. They are 11 points behind first-place Inter Milan, so the Rossoneri‘s Scudetto hopes are bleak. In addition, AC Milan fitness problems are seemingly coming to an end – a concern that has perhaps halted a push for the title in recent weeks.
However, their Champions League ambitions are not over. With that being said, it will not be easy as they’re only one point ahead of Juventus, two ahead of Atalanta, and a mere four ahead of Napoli. Milan’s squad, though, is finally returning to a state of normality and that could be pivotal in what remains.
AC Milan Fitness Concerns Are Easing
Injuries and Fitness Concerns Crumbled Scudetto Aspirations
The Rossoneri dominated the first half of the Serie A season. They were able to withstand player absences due to COVID-19, but a wave of injuries rushed in after that.
Bennacer dictates Milan’s midfield. He is the brains in dissecting the defense and controlling the tempo. His partner in the midfield, Franck Kessie, is equally important, but the two complement each other perfectly and Milan succeed when they are together. The Algerian sensation missed a couple of months, and Milan’s form fell apart. Bennacer was back in the victory versus Parma, and the team’s midfield was impeccable once again.
Ibrahimovic’s importance, of course, can never be understated. Not only is he Milan’s only consistent goal-scorer, but the physical and spiritual leader of the squad. The team clearly lacked morale with him off the pitch. Ibrahimovic missed just as much time as Bennacer, and unfortunately for Milan, the two injuries occurred around the same time. Milan’s squad deserves credit for not completely falling apart with these injuries, but Scudetto hopes were clearly lost.
Bennacer is back. Ibrahimovic is back as well, but his status for the next couple of games is questionable due to a straight red card this past weekend. The suspension will be appealed, but Mario Mandzukic is finally fit after barely playing a match since his arrival in January.
Hakan Calhanoglu, the squad’s main playmaker, has been back for the last couple of weeks. He missed a solid portion of time as well, and he’s extremely critical to the attack. Ante Rebic is also looking better game by game since struggling with injuries early on in the season.
Captain Alessio Romagnoli is on pace to return this weekend. His vocal leadership is much needed to finish the season. Right-back Davide Calabria is back to individual workouts as well, meaning his return should come either this weekend or the match after that.
If Ibrahimovic’s suspension is successfully appealed, this weekend may be the first match in months where Milan had the whole squad readily available.
Milan will look to boost their morale this weekend with another victory over Genoa. A win puts them in a great position if one of Juventus or Atalanta drops points.
Five of the last eight matches are very winnable. In that stretch, however, Milan will face Lazio, Juventus, and Atalanta. The results of those matches will make or break the season and decide Serie A’s four Champions League participants.