AC Milan face Liverpool FC in the long awaited return to the UEFA Champions League at Anfield later tonight. Milan will miss out on veteran striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic but have Olivier Giroud back. Here are some key battles to watch out for in the game:
Right winger vs Left back
Mohammed Salah vs Theo Hernandez
This is the scariest pair up for the game. Their best player against our weakest defensive link in the line up. Hernandez will need to be aware of the gaps he leaves behind if he sprints forward and will just generally have to put on a defensive hat for the game. Keeping Salah as far away from goal as possible needs to be priority no. 1.
Central midfielder vs Central defensive midfielder
Fabinho vs Franck Kessie
As with the last game, the midfield battle will be key in this one but will largely be Kessie’s job to keep Fabinhgo occupied and disoriented while Tonali/Bennacer have the chance to push our play forward. This battle will be key as the middle of the pitch is Liverpool’s vulnerability so enough pressure here could expose some cracks.
Striker vs Centre back
Olivier Giroud vs Virgil van Dijk
With Ibrahimovic ruled out, Giroud will bear the cross to get us a goal in this game whether he starts or comes off the bench. He is familiar with Liverpool and has played against this defence thus has some reference on what he needs to do. Beating Van Dijk will be quite difficult and the late runs of Rebic and Leao will be crucial to overwhelm the defence.
Van Dijk Winner