AC Milan face Bologna at the San Siro tonight and will need to pick up all three points to get their title defence back on track. Milan have a fresh attack for this game but will need to rely on the defence to get their first clean sheet. Here are some key battles to look out for:
Striker vs Centre back
Olivier Giroud vs Gary Medel
The French striker is back in the starting line up after Rebic’s stinker last time out and he will be looking to open his account for the new season. He has an aerial advantage over Medel in this game which Pioli should be looking to exploit but also his hold up play can allow Leao and Messias into the game for either to score their first. Giroud will need to balance his role of pressing forward with tracking back given how quick Bologna can be on the transition.
Centre back vs Central attacking midfielder
Pierre Kalulu vs Roberto Soriano
Kalulu has been doing well for a while now and beginning to look more comfortable in the line up and at centre back than Tomori. He has an important job to press forward and cut down the space afforded to Soriano as he has two distinct players to aim for, the strong and clinical Arnautovic as well as the quick and tricky Sansone in attack. The fewer balls being played in and over the top, the fewer chances to test Maignan.
Right winger vs Left Centre back
Junior Messias vs Charalampos Lykogiannis
Lykogiannis was one of the most impressive full backs last season but finds himself in a new role under Mihajlovic. He will nonetheless be a menace for Messias to get past but will equally press up and threaten Calabria if given the space. Messias needs to cut in more and deliver a quality ball in or a shot in this game otherwise Lykogiannis will dominate that wing and cause havoc on the counter.