AC Milano face AS Roma in the capital tonight in a key match for the Champions League qualification. Milan and Roma both have key absences. Milan have not won in Serie A in their previous two and have won only 1 out of 5 games in February. Here are some of the key battles out on the pitch to look out for:
Striker vs Goalkeeper
Zlatan Ibrahimovic vs Pau Lopez
Ibrahimovic had a number of golden opportunities against Inter but they were all thwarted by a solid Samir Handanovic who single headedly changed the course of that game. Ibahimovic cannot allow that to happen tonight with Pau Lopez who can similarly pull off great saves and keep Roma in the tie. Milan will need to be clinical in front of goal.
Central midfielder vs Central defensive midfielder
Amadou Diawara vs Sandro Tonali
Tonali will have quite a bit of work to do today stifling Diawara amongst others such as Veretout and Cristante in a congested midfield. The game with Roma over the past two or three fixtures has been a midfield battle where the side that can effectively supply their trequartista coming out ahead. Milan will need to keep Calhanoglu free and open whilst bogging down Mkhitaryan.
Right winger vs Left back
Pedro vs Theo Hernandez
For a number of games now, we are getting burned on the Hernandez-Romagnoli wing and Pedro will want to exploit this gap. Hernandez will need to be measured in his attacking approach so as to limit the gaps he leaves open when he bursts up field. Kessie will need to be more effective at slotting into the defence when needed and Kjar and Tomori have to be more flexible to change course and stop the shots.