AC Milan Manager Max Allegri Considering Using 3 Players Up Top in Derby

Tim Fontenault@Tim_FontenaultCorrespondent IJanuary 14, 2012

Ibrahimovic will surely start against Inter, but any combination of Pato, Robinho, Emanuelson, and Boateng can join him up front.
Ibrahimovic will surely start against Inter, but any combination of Pato, Robinho, Emanuelson, and Boateng can join him up front.Claudio Villa/Getty Images

During his pre-match press conference, Milan manager Massimiliano Allegri revealed that he is considering several formations and setups for tomorrow's derby against Inter Milan, and that one of these may be playing three players in attack.

“Between today and tomorrow I’ll decide who to play on the right of midfield. Boateng did well in Bergamo anyway. Emanuelson could be a possibility as could playing three up front.”

This would likely mean playing Pato, Robinho, and Zlatan Ibrahimovic playing together in a trident up top. It is not very often that the three play together, but Sunday, against a very hot team with an aging defense, the stars could all be given the charge of cutting the Inter defense apart together.

Milan were unsure about the future of Pato until just a couple days ago, when the Brazilian forward announced that he wanted to stay at Milan, despite heavy interest from Chelsea and Arsenal, as well as two bids from Paris Saint-Germain.

This could be a great idea for Allegri, but for this to be successful, Pato and Robinho need to step up and produce more than they have this season. Combined between them, the two have scored a mere three goals. That is a quarter of the production out of Zlatan Ibrahimovic this season, even if several of the Swede's goals are from penalties.

The Big Three are nowhere near the combined production they had last season when all three provided 14 goals in the championship season. Antonio Nocerino has been collecting a solid goal total this season, providing six of his own, but the two Brazilians need to get going.

*Game Note: Milan center back Thiago Silva is doubtful for tomorrow's derby after picking up a training injury, though he is in the squad, which means he can't be written off as a starter yet. Taye Taiwo, Alberto Aquilani, Gennaro Gattuso, Mario Yepes, Mathieu Flamini, and Antonio Cassano were unavailable for call-up. The full 20-man squad can be seen here.

With the quote from Allegri in mind, this is a new possible lineup, contrary to the one I used yesterday:

Christian Abbiati

Ignazio Abate, Thiago Silva, Alessandro Nesta, Luca Antonini

Kevin-Prince Boateng, Mark Van Bommel, Antonio Nocerino

Alexandre Pato, Robinho

Zlatan Ibrahimovic

Reserves: Marco Amelia, Philippe Mexes, Daniele Bonera, Urby Emanuelson, Clarence Seedorf, Filippo Inzaghi, Stephan El Shaarawy


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