Torino vs Milan, preview: Toro unlikely to take advantage of holes in Milan defense

Valerio Pennicino

The rossoneri defense continues to look unconvincing, but with Torino committed to cautious football, it likely matters little. Besides, isn't this match all about the return of Kaka?

Milan are rather used to not getting off to the best of starts, yet the opening round loss to newly promoted Hellas Verona still must've hurt. Still, the rossoneri bounced back via a 3-1 victory against Cagliari two weeks ago. Mario Balotelli was the undisputed hero, setting up two goals before scoring the third. But it's possible that even SuperMario will be overshadowed this weekend, what with the new faces showing up in Milan...

More from our team blogs: The AC Milan Offside

The exciting rossoneri attack can't quite paper over the cracks at Milan, however. Marco Sau's goal further reinforces what we already suspected before the season started: Milan have done nothing to reinforce their already shaky defense. It fell apart against Verona and wavered against Cagliari, allowing the visitors too much room and forcing themselves to make last-minute saves. Massimiliano Allegri's side will have it even harder this time around, with Ignazio Abate joining Daniele Bonera and Mattia De Sciglio on the injury list. It's likely Cristian Zaccardo will see his debut in a Milan shirt.

But let's face it -- rossoneri fans are not perched on the edge of their seats, anxiously awaiting the appearance of an aging defender. Nor are they excited to see one of Juventus's castoffs (sorry, Alessandro Matri). No, Milan fans are crossing their legs and doing little wiggles of glee over the return of Kaká, who's been gone four long years. And with the departure of Kevin-Prince Boateng to Schalke, it's almost certain that Kaká will be starting in Turin.

Milan may not have made moves over the summer to strengthen their defense (sorry, Zaccardo really doesn't count), but it may matter little against Torino. Despite an opening day 2-0 victory over Sassuolo, it seems the granata are still committed to cautious football. Giampero Ventura favors a 3-5-2 with Alessio Cerci and Ciro Immobile sitting up front, but no matter how good both players have looked at certain points in their careers, there's still little bite in the Toro attack.

Ventura, too, faces possible absences for Saturday night. It seems he's ready to let Kamil Glik sit out this one after his exertions with Poland -- although, no, he was not the man injuring Mirko Vucinic, no matter what commentators would originally have you believe -- but the Toro coach may have changed his mind after Guillermo Rodríguez injured his knee in training on Thursday. That would mean two changes to Ventura's favored back line, bringing in Matteo Darmian for Glik as well as replacing Rodríguez with either veteran Cesare Bovo or new boy Nikola Maksimovic. Or possibly someone else I'm forgetting.

Torino Injuries and Suspensions

Salvatore Masiello (Injured); Kamil Glik, Guillermo Rodriguez (In doubt)

AC Milan Injuries and Suspensions

Ignazio Abate, Daniele Bonera, Mattia De Sciglio, Giampaolo Pazzini, Mattias Silvestre (Injured)

Projected Lineups

Torino (3-5-2): Padelli; Darmian, Bovo, Moretti; D'Ambrosio, Brighi, Vives, Farnerud, Pasquale; Cerci, Immobile

AC Milan (4-3-1-2): Abbiati; Zaccardo, Zapata, Mexes, Emanuelson; Montolivo, De Jong, Muntari; Kaka; Balotelli, Matri

Match Date / Time

Saturday, September 14 at 8:45 p.m. local / 2:45 p.m. ET


Stadio Olimpico, Turin


Sky Calcio 1 (Italy); BT Sport 1 (UK)


BeIN Sport Play (USA)

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