After the training session against Crotone, news of mega financial losses and a growing injury list…we head to the romantic city of Verona this weekend. A tie which should/could offer at least a semblance of a more accurate barometer of our current state of form.
Our opponents are in haphazard rhythm. Other than the mauling of Napoli and slender victory over current Serie A whipping boys Parma, they have been poor of late, yet maintaining their regular mid table berthing.
With Dybala heading for specialist advice and OUT. Arthur as often mentioned as ‘unknown’ as perhaps back in the mix. Bonucci and Chiellini both still on the mend, but so what eh? When this gives opportunity for De Ligt and Demiral to forge a partnership…Morata another absentee. And I forgot when writing this last night more eager for the vodka than accuracy – Juan remains out, and Danilo’s yellow card of late means he misses this one through suspension. Which brings – I very much hope – Di Pardo into the mix. As well as promising contingent from the U23 side. Most exciting of which would be young Marley Ake.
20 year old Ake was signed from Marseille in late January, in a swap deal for Franco Tongya. The tricky left winger had already broken into their first team, making 9 appearances in the league and 4 in the CL. And has featured 6 times already for our U23 side, providing 3 assists. It is curious to find the french lad, rather than Correia given the opportunity.
Pirlo could well opt for Dragusin, yet why add a third CB to make a lop sided back line and force Chiesa to play more RWB than RM??? Against a weak side, this makes no sense whatsoever. I would not put this horrid move past Pirlo yet will hope he will ultimately opt for deploying a RB in the RB role. Di Pardo is a curious player (a brief bio can be found here).
Still…Verona are an average not top tier side, and we can still send out into battle an immensely better paid and stronger on paper and grass outfit, which should and must win this match, if we have any serious aspirations of marrying investment with results, climbing closer to the red and black of Milan, before focusing our zeal on the blue and back of the same city and top spot beyond.
The side may be something along the lines of what we saw in the last outing, though I expect Rabiot to get back in the mix>>>
Di Pardo/ Dragusin Demiral De Ligt Sandro
Chiesa Bentancur Rabiot Mckennie
And what looks a 4-4-2 is not at all the same in reality. as Mckennie is expected to become the AM, break the lines, get into and around the box, with the RB shuffling between RWB and a third CB when required, Sandro making the width deep and middle so essentially we have a more common shape of>>>
As Mo suggests in the preview further down, definitely worth a watch, Pirlo could opt to stretch the side and cover the flanks. I am not so keen on this, but understand the value. My main issue is having Freddy B on the field, who is a waste of a position technically, but he can do a job as a blocker, hustling and making a nuisance of himself to cut off channels of opponents into danger zones.
This tie needs to provide further moving through the gears..and the same against Spezia, with only Lazio providing any hint of serious opposition to a given 3 points. Victories leading to momentum, as we build towards the home game against Porto which may prove pivotal in the season for many involved at the club.
Also worth a peek>>>