Last Saturday AC Milan played a behind-closed-doors pre-season friendly tournament against Sampdoria and Swiss champion Servette, ahead of their Champions League debut preparations, at the Piergiorgio Perucca stadium, in Saint-Vincent. Unfortunately, the games were not broadcasted, however, following some information from the clubs official sites and social media, it was possible to draw some talking points out of it.
1 – Two draws, no worries
The outcome of both rossonere’s game was the same, goalless draws against Servette and Sampdoria, and that is ok. Remember it’s only the second time the team has played together since returning from vacations. Yet, the gaffer is still looking to find the best possible way to tactically fit this group of players.
2 – Strong opponents
The first friendly game the rossonere played was against Lithuanian champion FC Gintra, who will play this season Champions League. Now, AC Milan played against Servette, last season’s Swiss champions, and Sampdoria, nevertheless a new club, have a strong squad, with the likes Spinelli, Rincon, Tarenzi and Battelani.
Thus, it’s pretty clear that AC Milan is looking for good and strong opponents for their friendlies and that’s something.
3 – Changing playing system
After some speculation and three friendly games, there are no doubts that Ganz is ditching the 3-5-2 system for good this season and the tactician chose a playing system much appreciated for most milanisti: Carlo Ancelotti’s Christmas tree, or the 4-3-2-1 system.
Against FC Gintra, this was the starting lineup:
MILAN (4-3-2-1): Korenčiová; Thrige, Fusetti, Agard, Bergamaschi; Mauri, Boquete, Grimshaw; Thomas, Stapelfeldt; Giacinti.
In their first game, against Servette, this was the lineup:
MILAN (4-3-2-1): Giuliani; Rizza, Fusetti, Agard, Thrige; Miotto, Jane, Bergamaschi; Stapelfedt, Thomas; Giacinti
Against Sampdoria, Ganz rotated some players and this was the lineup which went down on the pitch:
MILAN (4-3-2-1): Korenčiová; Rizza, Fusetti, Agard, Thrige; Miotto, Jane, Bergamaschi; Longo, Thomas; Giacinti
4 – There is still room for reinforcements
The rossonere already have a strong group of players, although, Ganz still could use some new players, especially in the midfield. While Jane and Vero are the undisputed starters, with Grimshaw and Mauri fighting for the last remaining place in the midfield trio, Milan still lack a bit of finesse, an elegant touch in the middle. Hasegawa provided this feature last season, and she was crucial to secure the champions league spot, but the Japanese international is on her way out of Vismara and there is no suitable replacement yet.
There is a rumor that ex Fiorentina player Greta Adami joining the rossonere this transfer window and she could be a great addition for the team.
5 – Champions League debut venue, day and kick off time set
According to UEFA’s official site, Milan, Hoffenheim, Valur and Zurich chose the Letzigrund Stadium, in Zurich, to be the League Path knock out mini-tournament venue in Champions League. The rossonere are set to face Zurich on August 17 at 15:00 CET.
It means that Ganz and the players have a little more than 20 days to get to know each other very well and make this team work like a Swiss clock to advance to the final.