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AC Milan vs FC Porto: Key Battles and Predictions

Last chance for Pioli’s side.

AC Milan Training Session & Press Conference Photo by Claudio Villa/AC Milan via Getty Images

AC Milan will play FC Porto this evening in the UEFA Champions League as Stefano Pioli’s men mount a last ditch attempt to save their campaign. Milan have zero points in the group of death after the first round of matches was completed. Milan have played well and came close but have not been able to close out results. Here are some key battles to look out for in the match:

Key Battles

Striker vs Centre back

Olivier Giroud vs Pepe

This match up failed for us in the first game as our strike force looked uninspired and outplayed. Pepe and Mbemba are a very strong duo who use their physicality, aggression and acceleration to thwart any attack from a mile away from their box. They take no chances and we do not know how to counter this. Giroud will need to play with the few chances he will get but be clinical, that one goal like he got against Torino can change this encounter.

Right midfielder vs Left back

Otavio vs Theo Hernandez

Hernandez will need to put in a strong statement this evening following his silly sending off in the weekend match against Roma. Ballo-Toure remains injured thus the left back has no cover and will likely play the full 90 minutes. He will need to be aggressive when facing Otavio who has pace and is not scared to take on defenders. Most importantly, he will need to show maturity against a side that can counter his pace and hit back harder.

Left midfielder vs Right back

Luis Diaz vs Davide Calabria

The left midfielder wreaked havoc down that wing in the previous game and will need to be better managed by Calabria if we are to stand a chance in this one. Calabria has begun contributing more and more in the final third of the pitch and that will be needed in this game as we struggled to create in the last one. Diaz will need to be held far away from goal as he can create chaos in and around the box which will threaten Tatarusanu.

Predictions

Giroud Winner

Otavio Winner

Calabria Winner