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Key Battles and Predictions: AC Milan vs AS Roma

Milan need to show what that they can survive the difficult times because it doesn’t get worse than this,

AC Milan Training Session Photo by Claudio Villa/AC Milan via Getty Images

AC Milan take on AS Roma this evening at the San Siro as Stefano Pioli misses out on 8 squad players for a variety of reasons. Milan need all three points to keep pace with Inter Milan hence there can be no excuses as the attack will have to step up. Here are some key battles to look out for:

Key Battles

Striker vs Centre back

Olivier Giroud vs Chris Smalling

The two former Premier League players go head to head and they will known each other’s game. Giroud needs to be clinical in front of goal as this is a game where we need to take the attack to them. Smalling is strong and quick but can be challenged in the air hence the wingers will need to whip is proper aerial balls.

Central defensive midfielder vs Central attacking midfielder

Sandro Tonali vs Lorenzo Pellegrini

Pellegrini is a doubt to start this but Mourinho seems eager to get the mercurial midfielder back on the pitch. Pellegrini was easily the biggest threat to us in the reverse fixture and even forced Hernandez to pick up a boneheaded red card. Tonali is now the focal point of the midfield and has no cover hence he will need to impose himself and be even more physical to compensate for Kessie’s absence.

Striker vs Centre back

Tammy Abraham vs Mattia Gabbia

This is a scary one as Abraham has been growing all season and now seems likely to face a line up of Kalulu and Gabbia in central defence who barely have any chemistry and are not that experienced. Kalulu is solid but Gabbia is error prone despite his promise. The defensive pair just need to keep it neat and clear their lines quickly. Abraham has this tendency to score off loose balls and connect to finish off messy goals so we need to be cautious and avoid any mistakes at the back.

Predictions

Giroud Winner

Tonali Winner

Abraham Winner