AC Milan face Udinese at the San Siro tonight as the Rossoneri desperately search for three points. Stefano Pioli is set to switch to a 4-4-2 formation due to the injury crisis and will be ha nding summer emergency signing Luka Jovic his first start.
Here are some key battles to look out for:
Right back vs Left wingback
Davide Calabria vs Jordan Zemura
The new signings from Bournemouth has taken some time to carve out space for himself in the Udinese squad but is finally getting some starts. The Zimbabwe international is quick and has a great cross on him which Calabria needs to ensure does not hurt us. Calabria has been a critical voice amongst the squad in recent week as he recognises the dip in form and as Captain needs to step up and rally his side. Calabria put in a great performance against Napoli holding up Kvaratskhelia but almost let all the good work go to waste at the death, he needs to ensure no lapses in concetration tonight.
Central midfielder vs Central defensive midfielder
Rade Krunic vs Walace
The midfield battle in this game will be key as Pioli switches to a 4-4-2 opening up more space for the opposition in the midfield. Udinese play with a 5 man midfield and could overwhelm Krunic and Reijnders as Musah and Leao will be deployed wide. Walace will be a crucial player for Udinese to break up our play and kickstart their attacks. Walace has power to push through the midfield and overpower Krunic down the middle leaving little cover for the defence. Krunic has not been at his best since returning from his injury as he may have been rushed back and needs to be a block for the defence as opposed to a hindrance.
Striker vs Goalkeeper
Olivier Giroud vs Marco Silvestri
Giroud came up big for the Rossoneri last time out against Napoli with a brace. The striker needs to parlay that good game into a good run of form. If he can score again and ignite the attack he can help the side bounce back. The difficulty will be beating Silvestri who is the one standout performer in an otherwise lacklustre Udinese squad. Silvestri has 3 clean sheets so far and has conceded just 4 goals in the previous 4 games. The Rossoneri are in a winless streak but most importantly have not been prolific in front of goal over the past month. Beating Silvestri is key in this fixture.