AC Milan take on RB Salzbrug in a head-to-head for the second place spot in the group and qualification to the next round of the Champions League. Salzburg need a win but Milan would go through with a draw. Stefano Pioli is in a tricky situation as Milan are coming off a poor performance and a painful loss while Salzburg won in the league. The game will be tough as Salzburg’s high press is difficult for us to deal with and can force mistakes but the side must show some identity to take the next step in their development.
Salzburg 1-1 Milan
Form Guide (all competitions)
Milan: L, W, W, W, L
Salzburg: W, W, D, L, W
Players to Watch
Diaz was shockingly withdrawn at halftime in the Torino loss despite being in top form and creating key chances for Leao and Origi in the first half. It seems he was withdrawn to keep him fit and ready for this Salzburg tie as De Ketelaere is clearly nowhere close to being impactful for the side. Diaz needs to put in a strong performance in this game and make a case to bench CDK for the remainder of the 2022 games. Diaz has 4 goals already and needs just one more to have a better season than last year. If he can show similar strength to that which led to the goals against Juventus and Monza, we are in for a treat and he was develop into the top notch trequartista we were promised in 2020. Diaz is also yet to net in the UCL thus far this season.
The speedy winger turned striker was a nightmare for us in the first game even before he managed to get that wonderful goal where he embarrassed Kalulu. Okafor will be a menace up against an ageing Kjaer who is not the quickest. Okafor scored in their last league game and has 3 goals in the Champions League so far - more than anyone on our squad - which makes his the one to watch. Pioli will need to instruct Tonali and Bennacer to double up on him and deny him any opportunity to run at the defence as he can dribble past them and Tatarusanu will not save any of his shots.
Giroud is somehow our top scorer in the Champions League with two goals tied hilariously with Saelemaekers. The Frenchman has not scored from open play in a month and a half or seven games for us. He really struggled against Wober in the first leg of this game as the pace of the Austrian centre back and his physicality to push Giroud off the ball threw off the Frenchman. He needs to be more dynamic in and around the box but also be more positive with the ball at his feet as opposed to continually knocking it all the way back to the defence. He does needs quality balls into the box to work with but this is the game where he usually turns up for us.
Prediction: Milan 2-1 Salzburg