Serie A Preview: Frosinone v. AC Milan

Date: Sunday, December 20, 2015

Kickoff: 12:00 PM ET (USA)  /  18:00 CET (ITA)

League Position: Milan (7), Frosinone (18)

Stadio Matusa, Frosinone, Italy

I feel like I should just copy and paste the last two weeks’ previews here and just find all the Veronas and Carpis and replace them with Frosinones.

Don’t let the midweek Coppa Italia win fool you. We had a golden opportunity to earn 9 straight points and we have squandered it already. Just when things were looking up ever so slightly (on the field anyway), we’ve come plummeting back to earth.

Two draws in general is not the problem. It’s who they came against, and I say that as respectably as you can say something that disrespectful.

So one more chance to vanquish a mighty Serie A first-timer before the New Year. Let’s see how we can muck this one up.

Tale of the Tape

Last 6 Serie A matches:

Milan: WDLWDD
Frosinone: LDLWLL

Our last two opponents have given up a combined 56 goals in Serie A this season. We scored just one of those. Frosinone have allowed 30 themselves, at least 2 in their last 6, so for us not to put up some goals will once again be a significant failure.

Set pieces: God do we need one to go in. We’ve got another good chance this round, Frosinone have shipped 8 goals from set pieces and we’ve scored a respectable 6. 4 of their 15 goals all season have come from dead balls too though, so we’ll need to be equally wary on our end.

Frosinone are second to last in Serie A in possession with roughly 45%. They are dead last in passing percentage at just over 70%. Milan have nothing to crow about though, second in the league at being dispossessed with over 14 such losses of balls per match.

All signs point to Frosinone sitting back. They spend have spent essentially one third, 32% of their season in their own defensive area, and concede over 20 shots per match. Milan have been average in getting into the opponents box, with 49% of chances from that range, but over the last few games have simply not been finishing.

The pictures are of a victory. That's as optimistic as this is getting.

The pictures are of a victory. That’s as optimistic as this is getting.

Missing Pieces

De Jong and Kucka have been put on the naughty list. Diego Lopez and Super Mario are still on the sidelines, and there’s a French elf up on someone’s shelf again this weekend.

Little-used Genoa loanee Rosi, and Frosinone’s number 69 (yep) Bertoncini, are the only Canarini missing out.

Possible Line-up

Donnarumma

Abate – Alex – Romagnoli – Antonelli

Suso – Montolivo – Bertolacci – Bonaventura

Bacca – Niang

With Antonelli back I think De Sciglio ends up odd man out at fullback, though a case could certainly be made for him starting over Abate on the right. And I’m not sure anyone can tell you who best to partner Romagnoli, but Alex will do for now.

I really do not want to see Niang in the midfield. He has shown willingness to track back but I’d rather get him headed towards the net at all times. I say try someone else on the right. Suso for me this week. I’ve given up on seeing Mauri in 2015 by now (better lat than never?) so it looks likely we’ll see Montolivo and Bertolacci with other options suspended this week. Jack is back, of course.

And then up front it’s the two Coppa Italia goalscorers. Can’t fault either of these guys for our position. Imagine where we’d be without them!

Let this man loose!

Let this man loose!

What to Watch for:

Danger Man – I’m not going to act like I am familiar with too many of these Frosinone players. What I see in the stats here is that their starting strike duo, Dionisi and Ciofani, are responsible for a combined 7 of the hosts’ 15 goals. Of the two, Dionisi is the much better passer of the ball, and he’s set up two goals for his team as well. I’ll tap him as this week’s danger man.

Frosinone’s Approach – Having seen us struggle against their fellow relegation-threatened sides, and having lost matches against Chievo and Palermo that they really needed points from, it will be interesting to see what approach the hosts take on Sunday. On the one hand, they can clearly see that a point is more than manageable should they frustrate us for 90 minutes. On the other hand, they need 3 points any time they can get them. Should they go for it  and try to take the game to Milan it will be all the more telling just how weak and vulnerable the rest of the league sees us as at this point in time.

About Dave Lamb

Dave Lamb is a lifelong Milan supporter, public school teacher, and aspiring stand-up comedian living in Boston. You can follow him on twitter @DaveLambComedy

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