AC Milan face Sampdoria tonight away from home as Stefano Pioli looks to start the season with a bang. Milan will have a lot of changes in their squad but hopefully we get to see some chemistry amongst the players. Here are some key battles to watch out for during the game:
Striker vs Centre back
Olivier Giroud vs Omar Colley
Giroud’s pace will be important in this encounter but he needs to be wary not to come under pressure from the physicality of Colley, Yoshida and Berezynski. The striker will be an asset as he can challenge for the ball in the air and can hold up the ball too. It will be good to see Leao playing in Leao and Saelemaekers from the wings too.
Central midfielder vs Central midfielder
Rade Krunic vs Adrien Silva
This is the battle that Milanisti need to worry about, Krunic in the middle will likely slow down the transition to attack, cause some errors with passing mistakes and make rash tackles around the box awarding Sampdoria set pieces. Silva is tricky and usually unlock the midfield to set up their attackers so Tonali will need to work double time to cover him.
Left winger vs Right back
Mikkel Damsgaard vs Davide Calabria
Calabria is set to start the game as captain in the absence of Romagnoli and will need to build upon his strengths from last season and show that he can lead the squad. The defender will need to contribute just as much in attack as he will need to in defence keeping a pacey Damsgaard from cutting in from the wing. A big game for the defender and one where he needs to keep the creative engine quiet.