Valencia vs. AC Milan: How Rossoneri Will Line Up in Trofeo Naranja

Matteo Bonetti@@TheCalcioGuyContributor IAugust 16, 2014

MILAN, ITALY - MAY 18:  Michael Essien (L) and Hachim Mastour of AC Milan prior to the Serie A match between AC Milan and US Sassuolo Calcio at San Siro Stadium on May 18, 2014 in Milan, Italy.  (Photo by Claudio Villa/Getty Images)
Claudio Villa/Getty Images

Update (Sunday, August 17): Adil Rami will not travel with club to Valencia, along with Mario Balotelli, Gabriel, Nigel De Jong and M'Baye Niang.

Milan managed a convincing win in the recent friendly match against Chivas Guadalajara after a series of disastrous performances in the ICC North American summer tour.

Now they look to travel to Spain to take on a competitive La Liga side in Valencia, a test that should be another great warm-up for Filippo Inzaghi's men ahead of the impending Serie A campaign. 

The biggest story surrounding the pre-match formation is whether the new signings Diego Lopez and Pablo Armero will play.

Lopez was brought in from Real Madrid to be Milan's first choice goalkeeper, while Armero essentially replaces Kevin Constant, who joined Turkish side Trabzonspor. Both moves strengthen the side considerably

The latest reports from say that Milan's new goalkeeper will play from the first minute. This is a great way for Diego Lopez to get some time on the pitch with his new club only two weeks left until the opening round in Serie A.

The defense could also improve, safe in the knowledge they have a world-class goalkeeper behind them protecting the goal. 

Meanwhile, the same reports say that Colombian left-back Pablo Armero will get playing time, but not from the first minute. Armero has Olympic pace but will find it difficult to guarantee himself a starting spot as long as Mattia De Sciglio and Ignazio Abate are at the club. 

In the midfield, it'll be interesting to see whether Bryan Cristante gets game time. The youngster has shown flashes in the games he's been given as he's learning the craft of becoming a deep-lying playmaker. 

Bryan Cristante (right) tussles with Stevan Jovetic in preseason friendly
Bryan Cristante (right) tussles with Stevan Jovetic in preseason friendlyGene J. Puskar/Associated Press

Alongside him, expect Sulley Muntari and Andrea Poli to get the nod from the opening whistle. Muntari and Poli will do the brunt of the running and likely look for Cristante to find the deep pass when they're in possession.

Rounding off Filippo Inzaghi's 4-3-3, the attacking trident could see a few changes from the latest friendlies. New signing Jeremy Menez is due a start alongside Mario Balotelli and possibly Stephan El Shaarawy.

There's a good chance this will be Milan's first-choice attacking trio when the season gets underway in late August, so it would be wise to give Menez time to build chemistry with his teammates.

The most important facet of this match will be seeing whether Inzaghi's men play the brand of football that they're capable of. The lack of effort in some of the first summer friendlies was worrying, despite the team giving an improved performance against Mexican side Chivas last week.