AC Milan face Genoa at the San Siro tonight for the Coppa Italia round of 16. Milan welcome back Tomori to the starting line up following COVID while Rebic returns after his injury and Pioli chooses to rotate as Maldini, Krunic, Saelemaekers and Giroud for this one. Here are some key battles to look out for:
Striker vs Centre back
Felipe Caicedo vs Mattia Gabbia
This will be a crucial battle in this game as Milan’s centre back area remains thin due to injuries and coronavirus cases. Caicedo is an experienced striker in Serie A who is strong, a clinical finisher and has good acceleration. Gabbia will need to hold up well alongside Tomori as Kalulu will be pushed to right back for this one. Caicedo has burnt us before so we need to be careful not to concede too early.
Left winger vs Centre back
Ante Rebic vs David Biraschi
The Croatian finally returns after months out and will be looking to repeat his pattern of performing exceptionally well in the second half of the season. Let’s hope for a goal in this one for him to build up some confidence. He goes up against Biraschi who will battle him on pace but if he can turn in and dribble, he should have and edge and some space to work with.
Left back vs Right wingback
Theo Hernandez vs Stefano Sabelli
Hernandez will likely wear the captain’s armband again tonight and if he can continue his stunning form, it would be magical for us. The defender will be able to blast past Sabelli down that left wing and put some crosses in for Giroud. He seems to have matured somewhat in 2022 and the weight of the armband seems to be making him a better player. He will need to support us on the defensive phase as Yeboah and Caicedo both have a crazy acceleration which would allow them to rush past the centre backs.