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Arsenal v. Milan, Let the Games Begin


I wrote this preview on Friday (I had some down time at the ole 9-5) I am bit unsure about the injuries for both squads, but I hope that things go as planned. Use this space to discuss the game, and I will be back to recap the game as soon as I get it off the DVR, I wish someone would start paying me so I can stay home and watch games and Live Blog…who I am kidding I just do it for the chicks and the love of the Rossoneri.

There is no denying the fact that the Champions League knockout rounds produce some of the most amazing football I have ever seen. From games like Man U- Roma, to last year’s Milan-Bayern every game is exciting and every game has meaning. This year will be no exception as all the big boys are involved in another knockout phase. In eyes it does not really matter who you play, because to win the CL you have to play and beat the best, either in the first round or the final, no one gets through easy, and Arsenal is no exception. As Milan fans we have the special privilege of playing as Champions and as playing for Il Capitano’s last run. As if any more motivation was needed, it seems we have heaped on some more.

When you look at Arsenal it is important to start from the top, and that is Arsene Wenger. Wenger is a genius and a shrewd manager to boot, his sale of Henry was perfectly timed and his use of players in perfect situations is second to none. When you play Arsenal, and Wenger you know you will get an opponent who is well prepared, willing to attack, and make very few mistakes, scared yet. You are also playing a team who is, to quote Mickey, “Greasy Fast,” because they are loaded with good young talent. Cesc, Van Persie, and Adebayor run the attack while old man Gallas and company hold down the fort in the back, as you can see Arsenal is by no means a pushover, and as leaders of the EPL it is easy to see why.

No team is unstoppable and no one understands that better than AC Milan, especially Champions League where they have upset and been upset all the same. Milan will have to rely on their experience, strength of midfield, and strong D to carry them through to the next round. The Rossoneri will require some stand out performances and more importantly they will require some victories in key matchups to help dictate the pace of the game. The real man point here is that Pirlo real has no equal anywhere in the world, and if he is not contained than Milan’s chances are greatly increased. When Pirlo has room to roam, Milan wins games plain and simple. This leads me to the first of few key matchups:

Rino v. Cesc: we all remember what Rino did to C Ronaldo last year.
I am sure Cesc remembers that also, Rino will have to the same success he had then all over. By doing this he frees Pirlo to do what Pirlo does best and that is distribute and control play. If Pirlo is forced to overly defend then the game may not go so easy.

Adebayor v. Nesta: Adebayor, in my opinion, is the best player in the EPL right now. If there is any player out there comparable to Drogba, then this is your man. He just does what a striker should do, Nesta will need to blanket Adebayor and make sure that in the process the rest of the defense is on pace to shut down VanPersie, if he is match fit.

Pato vs. Gallas/Toure: Pato, and even Kaka are much faster than those men in the back so a couple of well timed passes should see they get onto goal. The Brazilian duo just needs to be sure to finish when they get their chances.

“Milan, a Champions League Club who plays matches on the weekend.”