After the defeat to rivals Inter in the Derby della Madonnina at the weekend, AC Milan will be desperate to bounce back against Real Betis on Thursday evening.
Aside from the disappointment over the result, the performance from the Rossoneri attracted plenty of criticism too as they appeared to be focusing more on not losing the game rather than going out to win it.
With that in mind and amid speculation over Gattuso’s future at the San Siro, as noted by La Gazzetta dello Sport, he’ll know the importance of getting the right response from his players in midweek as well as securing three more points to take a crucial step towards advancing to the knockout stage.
The Italian tactician has used the competition as an opportunity to rotate and give others a chance to impress through the opening two games, and while he is being tipped to do so again this week, there are perhaps less changes than expected.
Pepe Reina, Cristian Zapata, Diego Laxalt, Tiemoue Bakayoko and Samu Castillejo are all being touted to get the nod in the starting line-up, as seen below.
However, the likes of captain Alessio Romagnoli, Lucas Biglia, Suso and Gonzalo Higuain are all expected to keep their places which would certainly show that Gattuso is taking no chances and is fully aware of the expectancy of three points in this encounter.
The Milan hierarchy ultimately expect Gattuso to deliver Champions League qualification for next season. While there have been positive signs in terms of the style of play and results, setbacks such as the one seen against Inter will not reflect well on the Milan boss.
With that in mind, picking up three points against Betis and doing it in style will be a welcome boost for him, and based on the touted XI below, it should give him every chance of seeing that happen given the quality and experience running right through it.
However, much will also depend on the attitude and approach adopted, as it simply can’t be the same as what was seen against Inter.
Probable AC Milan XI vs Betis: Reina; Calabria, Zapata, Romagnoli, Laxalt; Bakayoko, Biglia, Bonaventura; Suso, Higuain, Castillejo. (via Sportmediaset)