AC Milan face Hellas Verona on the road tonight as the side must win to take back the top spot. Milan get back Florenzi for this game and will have Bennacer, Ibrahimovic and Rebic on the bench. Verona’s front three have scored 39 goals between them and their manager Igor Tudor will deploy them all to spoil Milan’s party. Here are some key battles to look out for:
Left back vs Right attacking midfielder
Theo Hernandez vs Antonin Barak
11 goals and 4 assists. The 27 year old Czech is a dynamic presence who will press hard on Hernandez down that wing and look to exploit the spaces between Kessie and Kalulu to set off long balls for the on-fire Simeone. Hernandez will have a big task to defend against the attacker and put in a solid shift. Hernandez has been improving in defence but whenever he makes an error it is usually costly for us.
Right back vs Left attacking midfielder
Davide Calabria vs Gianluca Caprari
12 goals and 7 assists. The opposite wing is equally potent with a resurgent Caprari this season who is doing a stellar job in his free floating no. 10 role. He has a wicked long shot and some good acceleration that makes his hard to predict on the counter. Calabria has been average in recent weeks but need to be steadfast in this game as any early goal we concede will allow them to sit back and defend all game. Conversely, Calabria needs to offer some attacking support as Saelemaekers starts this game.
Centre back vs Striker
Fikayo Tomori vs Giovanni Simeone
16 goals and 5 assists. This will be the crucial match up as Simeone is on form and Tomori not so much. The loss to Inter Milan in the cup and the early goal conceded against Lazio had one thing in common, Tomori wasn’t at his best and was caught out early on. We cannot afford this in this game as previously metioned due to the propensity of Verona to clamp down following an early goal. Tomori needs to put in the performance of a lifetime in the final three games to ensure Maignan gets as much cover as possible.