AC Milan face Spezia at the San Siro this afternoon as the Rossoneri look to secure the three points ahead of their two crunch ties with Juventus and Inter Milan in the top four race. Pioli must start Krunic in this game but Ibrahimovic is back and hopefully can net a winner.
Central defensive midfielder vs Central attacking midfielder
Tiemoue Bakayoko vs Daniele Verde
The loanee will need to adopt Tonali’s role from the previous game where he will need to put in a double shift to support Krunic. Bakayoko has to break up the play in the middle of the park as he will need to ensure their strikers remain isolated and less of a threat to our young centre backs. The threat with Verde will be his ability to set up the strikers with lobbed through balls to make it a race heading to the goal with the defenders.
Left winger vs Right back
Rafael Leao vs Kelvin Amian
Leao is in top form at the moment and needs to leverage this to support the team from the first minute. He needs to keep the pressure on and press high up the pitch to force mistakes and score early on. The winger will need to outpace Amian and play those square balls for Ibrahimovic. Leao also needs to hold up the ball well and take off the pressure so Rebic can come on and potentially score his comeback goal.
Centre back vs Striker
Pierre Kalulu vs M’Bala Nzola
This will be the crucial match up in this game as Nzola is powerful is experienced at turning round the defender. Kalulu’s high press is effective but he needs to be careful not to be pushed down leaving a gap. The defender will need to ensure he can keep the ball moving as Gabbia often seems nervous on the ball. Nzola has only scored 2 goals which came in the same game against Atalanta but the threat is there.