The hype for this weekend’s face off between Juventus and AC Milan at the Vinovo, for the Serie A matchday 15, has been built since their last clash, when the biaconere beat the diavolesse by the by the minimum score as Girelli converted from the penalty spot. Thereafter, both teams have had flawless results, conquering every single point available until now.
Head Coach Maurizio Ganz arrives to this game with some certainties at both ends of the pitch and a big puzzle to solve, especially in the midfield.
The rossonero stronghold
AC Milan have the best defense in the league and there absolutely no doubt that Ganz will field Korenciova between the posts, with a strong defensive line composed by “The Lauras” Agard and Fusetti and Giorgia Spinelli, who has shown to be efficient both defending and attacking.
Don’t stop them now
Combined, they have 21 league goals so far and, as far as we know them, they will just keep adding goals up. Valentina Giacinti and Natasha Dowie are doing their jobs perfectly, so, it’s no brainer for the coach at this point to choose who to field.
The midfield puzzle
Whilst defense and attack sectors are pretty much figured out, the AC Milan management provided so much options for Ganz that he may have some difficult choices to make at this point in order to adjust his tactics according to a formidable opponent as Juve.
Last game Ganz tried out a different positioning to his wingers, deploying Rizza, who is more defensive prone, in the right and Bergamaschi in the left, acting much more as a third striker, making support runs into the area and scoring and early goal, her first in the league this season.
This experiment worked out fine against Pink Bari and could be an alternative to the more traditional take, with Linda Tucceri Cimini on the left and Bergamaschi on the right, considering Milan have no real backup for their #27.
The core trio
AC Milan midfield core is composed by a regista, a defensive midfielder in front of the centre-backs, alongside two box-to-box central midfielders. Whether not injury or suspended, Rafiloe Jane is that defensive midfielder, with Caroline Rask providing a suitable backup, as we could see last game. So, for this slot, there is not much discussion.
When it comes to the central midfielders, left and right, Ganz have a lot of alternatives and possibilities. Might he choose a more technical approach, we could see Veró and Hasegawa alongside Jane, although this setup offers little physicality against the likes of Cernoia and Rosucci. However, might he choose a more traditional setup, with Grimshaw, Jane and one between Hasegawa or Veró as the creative mind, he gains on speed and more attacking presence, though the Scottish tends to lose possession and lacks passing accuracy. An alternative to it might be bringing Dominika Conc back to the starting eleven as the Slovenian international has a much more defensive mindset.
Yet, we may add Julia Simic and Claudia Mauri to the conversation, as both have already proven their values during the course of the season.
As we can see, Ganz have a lot to think about in order to prepare in the best possible way the AC Milan Women’s team and capitalize over any mistake the league-leaders might make.