AC Milan face Lazio in the quarter finals of the Coppa Italia tonight at the San Siro. Here are some key battles to look out for as Stefano Pioli looks to stun Maurizio Sarri to set up a two legged Derby della Madonnina semi final:
Central defensive midfielder vs Central midfielder
Sandro Tonali vs Sergej Milinkovic-Savic
Tonali neutralised Barella this weekend and now faces another key stress test going up against Milinkovic-Savic. The midfielder is usually Kessie responsibility but the Ivorian gets forward more making Tonali the one to limit SMS. Tonali is growing into the midfielder everyone expected, the Gattuso of this generation and he needs to face up to the best to be the best.
Striker vs Centre back
Ciro Immobile vs Alessio Romagnoli
Romagnoli did well to largely limit Martinez in the previous game but was bailed out by Kalulu’s incredible presence in the defence which is truly reminiscent of Tomori with the high press and exceptional pace. Immobile is tougher to mark and better at using small spaces so this is another key battle for Romagnoli to weather. Kalulu needs to be very aware positionally in this game as Luis Alberto can be deadly with pockets of space outside the box.
Goalkeeper vs Striker
Pepe Reina vs Olivier Giroud
He turned up in the derby but can he do it again as Ibrahimovic remains out. He goes up against former Milan keeper Reina who often puts in incredible saves against us but a headed goal is usually his undoing. Giroud is great when he plays to his strengths and can make a difference but his play off the ball continues to limit us but it doesn;t matter if he scores.