AC Milan host Chelsea at the San Siro tonight as the Rossoneri look for some revenge and to get back their momentum in the Champions League group stage. The side will look slightly different with some returns and rotations expected. Here are some key battles to look out for:
Left back vs Right back
Theo Hernandez vs Reece James
Ballo-Toure got rinsed last week and look out of his depth against one of the most in-form right backs in the Premier League. James was quick and direct which allowed him to bag a goal and an assist in that game. He faces a tougher challenge in Theo is is equally quick and strong but will also offer a massive push with the attack. This will be an even match up and it will be good to see what the Frenchman can produce against a tough opponent. James will obviously be looking at a repeat performance but hopefully Leao and Theo can overwhelm him this time around.
Central attacking midfielder vs Central midfielder
Brahim Diaz vs Mateo Kovacic
It is not clear if Diaz will play as a trequartista in a 4-2-3-1 or as a right winger in a 4-3-3 but what is clear is he will have a big task to get past Kovacic and play in dangerous balls where De Ketelaere was stifled last week. Diaz is in blistering form showing brilliance off the bench and coring a banger against Juventus on the weekend. He has struggled against more physical sides and especially when he gets pushed off the ball. He has a big opportunity to earn Pioli’s trust and make an argument to take back the starting role if he can put in another big display. Kovacic played dirty last week and somehow avoided a booking, let’s hope this does not happen again and we see him boxed in more by the team press.
Manager vs Manager
Stefano Pioli vs Graham Potter
The previous game was a huge gamble for us to start Sergino Dest and were forced into starting Fode Ballo-Toure, both moves backfired with the duo being some of the most ineffective on the pitch. Pioli seems to have figured out a clever rotation this weekend against Juventus but Chelsea are a quicker and more physical side with a direct approach play at goal. Potter also has a dilemma on how to approach this game as he would not want his players to get complacent especially with Theo Hernandez returning and the big win this weekend. How the managers position their sides and the style of play for the game will be important for the result as the game should look totally different from a week ago.