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Key Battles and Prediction: AC Milan vs Bologna

A very tricky game but Milan cannot drop points.

AC Milan v SS Lazio - Serie A Photo by Fabrizio Carabelli/LiveMedia/NurPhoto via Getty Images

AC Milan host Bologna at the San Siro tonight as the side debut their new fourth shirt and look to keep hold of the top spot with Inter Milan and Napoli breathing down their necks. Stefano Pioli’s priority will be to get the attack firing again and hoping the defence come through with yet another clean sheet. Here are some key battles to look out for in the game:

Key Battles

Striker vs Centre back

Olivier Giroud vs Gary Medel

Giroud was on fire in the international break but it does not seem like his kind of game to score in. He could be key in getting another assist or drawing Medel out to make space for one of the wingers. I am more confident to see Ibrahimovic come off the bench and get a goal in this game as he did in the previous tie against Bologna. Giroud is an important part of this unit and if he can play to his strengths, the attack should run smoothly.

Right back vs Left back

Davide Calabria vs Aaron Hickey

The Scottish youngster has come up as a potential target for the Rossoneri to be Theo’s back up as he is a monstrous presence in the advanced left wing back role. He has pace and a workhorse mentality that we need to worry about in this game as Calabria will need to keep him at bay and limit his crosses into the clinical Arnautovic. The match up will be crucial in this game as Hickey being kept at bay will force Orsolini and Soriano to drop back in search of the ball allowing Tonali and Bennacer to spend more of the game with the ball in front of them where they thrive.

Central attacking midfielder vs Centre back

Roberto Soriano vs Pierre Kalulu

Soriano got sent off in this reverse fixture and will likely want revenge as his side could have got a result then. He will be looking to play hard against Kalulu who has impressed in recent weeks but is still fairly new to Serie A and the centre back role. Soriano similarly to Arnautovic will look to hold up the play and draw fouls frustrating the defence. Kalulu need to keep it smart and keep it clean in this game as that clean sheet will be crucial yet again.

Predictions

Giroud/Ibrahimovic Winner

Calabria Winner

Kalulu Winner