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Milan must use Sunday’s match with Genoa to build confidence and momentum

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Vincenzo Montella and his Milan are slipping in the table, and must use Sunday’s match with Genoa as an opportunity to build much needed confidence and momentum.

The Rossoneri’s struggles have been well publicized and closely dissected for most of the season – and rightfully so when €200m is invested in order to restore past glories.

Having lost their last three Serie A matches – most recently last weekend’s difficult 3-2 defeat to Inter in the Derby Della Madonnina – manager Vincenzo Montella’s job is heavily at risk and is coaching week to week with the sack peering over his shoulder.

Beyond the fact Milan sit 10th in the league table, seven points back of the fourth and final UEFA Champions League, and look up on rivals Inter in second, there has been little proof of late that gives supporters reason to believe a breakthrough is near. Expensive signing Leonardo Bonucci continues to come under fire for his costly lapses in defence, while Lucas Biglia and Franck Kessie’s early success has fizzled out. Perhaps most of the lackluster performances stem from the fact Montella can’t seem to find a formation that suits his personnel, while also struggling to channel the proper mentality from his men that’ll yield favorable results.

These days, Milan are looking for any sort of advantage to get out of the funk they are in. In hosting Genoa this weekend, supporters are hopeful their track record against Ivan Juric’s side at San Siro bodes well for their chances to come away victorious. The Italian giants are unbeaten in nine of their last 10 home matches against the Grifone in all competitions, meaning history is on their side.

According to La Gazzetta dello Sport, Montella is expected to play three in the back, with Cristian Zapata, Bonucci and Alessio Romagnoli the preferred choices. The 3-5-2 (or 3-4-2-1) setup hasn’t convinced, which is why many have suggested the former Fiorentina boss should consider opting for the 4-3-3 shape, even with the lack of wingers to regularly field it. Still, Montella may want to show some flexibility – either from the opening whistle or by adjusting during the match – in order to prove to us a willingness to tinker in search of victory. Or, at least refrain from fielding several players out of position – for obvious reasons.

Entering Sunday’s latest round of Serie A play, Milan have been leaky in the back, conceding at least two goals in their last three matches. Not only will the red and black defenders need to get on the same wavelength and iron out the kinks, the attack mustn’t spoil their chances in the final third. Regardless of who is deployed up front, an early goal for Milan would go a long way in easing the pressure a bit, and allow them to dictate the tempo of the match.

The bleeding must stop if Montella is to last, and Milan are to hang around in the hunt for Europe. With a trip to Chievo Verona days away, and Juventus paying a visit next Saturday, there is no better time than Sunday to build much needed confidence and some semblance of momentum hope.

@ItalianFD

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