AC Milan host Fiorentina at the San Siro tomorrow afternoon as the Scudetto races heats up right at the end. Milan have an opportunity to keep the top spot and add pressure on Inter Milan who play a few hours later. Pioli should have most players available and hence has some tactical flexibility. Here are some key battles to look out for:
Left winger vs Right back
Rafael Leao vs Alvaro Odriozola
The winger will need to be at his best and create opportunities just like the last game. There is this extra space that he has a knack for finding and exploiting which will be crucial in a game that will likely be end to end and high scoring. Leao must be able to cut in past Odriozola and find Giroud in that box early on in this one otherwise we could find ourselves in a tricky situation.
Central attacking midfielder vs Central midfielder
Brahim Diaz vs Lucas Torreira
Diaz might not start given the return of Bennacer and the preference of Pioli to deploy Kessie at CAM but regardless of who starts this will be a key role. As we saw in the last game when Rebic and Ibrahimovic came on, the ability of the CAM to put the ball in the right places is what we have missed in 2022 and we cannot afford to starve Giroud of service because that neutralises him in the game. Torreira is persistent with his press and will be tough to isolate but this is a key role.
Right winger vs Left back
Junior Messias vs Cristian Biraghi
To top off the attacking midfield trio, Messias has an equally important role to that of Leao in this one as we often get overloaded by defenders on the left side while the right is neglected as it is not as productive. If Messias, can add the pressure down that wing and put in quality balls we should not have an issue breaking down their defence and finding the back of the net. Messias goes up against an experienced Biraghi who will be very tough to get past but hugging the touch line should do the trick.