Which of the new AC Milan players will get the ball first this season?
AC Milan’s new star signing, the highly-rated Mario Balotelli, will get his first chance to lead the side on Saturday, as the Nerazzurri host a side that has been largely forgotten by the rest of the world.
With the Italians in the thick of Euro 2016 and their quest to qualify for the World Cup on the line, Balotellini has been a revelation for the club, with the 24-year-old scoring five goals in nine Serie A appearances so far.
The Italian international has been on a fantastic run of form and scoring six goals in five games for the Nerazurri so far, while being voted the Serie A Player of the Month for March, which was also the club’s best performance in the league this season.
But the player himself is still not a certain part of the Milan squad and the coach, Stefano Pioli, is unlikely to let him leave for free.
In a recent interview with Corriere dello Sport, Balesticini was asked if he would like to play in the World Championships next summer.
“Of course I would like,” he said.
“It would be a dream.
It would be something I would be really proud of.”
Balotelli had a season of form in which he scored 19 goals in 25 games, and while he has yet to play a minute of Serie A football, he is a very good prospect.
The 23-year old has been named in the provisional squad for the Champions League qualifiers against Juventus, Inter Milan and Napoli, and he is set to be joined by fellow new signing Gianluigi Donnarumma, who has been heavily linked with a move to the Serie B club.
Balotellelli is a player that could have an impact on both the Champions and the Europa League, and there are a few names on the radar that could provide him with some inspiration.
Neymar has been linked with an early move to Barcelona, while the Brazilian has also been linked to the Italian giants.
The 23-years-old is also a target for Manchester City, but with the club currently in the Champions league, he may have little choice but to turn his focus to the Europa league.
Nicolás López has also made a name for himself with Inter Milan, scoring 17 goals in his debut season for the Italian side.
However, with a lack of attacking options in his squad, the Uruguayan is likely to get the nod for Saturday’s game, although his international future is unclear.
There is also interest in young forward Nabil Bentaleb from Borussia Dortmund, who is on loan at the Allianz Arena from Tottenham.
The Ghanaian forward has scored four goals in 13 games for Spurs and was named in their provisional squad this week.
Bentaleb has scored just three goals in 17 games so far this season, and is yet to score a goal for Tottenham, so the midfielder could be in line for his first start of the season in the Europa leagues.
There are a number of other names that could get in Balotella’s sights on Saturday night, but there is one player who will have to do more than anyone else.
Andrea Pirlo has been playing in the Bundesliga for Borussia Monchengladbach, but he is also the star of the Europa cup campaign, with four goals and two assists in nine league games.
Pirlo will be hoping to impress Milan in the first leg of their Champions League qualifier, and the midfielder is likely be a constant threat for the Italians, who have been looking to shake up their squad with the introduction of Alessandro Florenzi.