AC Milan face Tottenham Hotspur in the round of 16 of the UEFA Champions League at the San Siro tonight. Here are some key battles to look out for:
Striker vs Centre back
Olivier Giroud vs Eric Dier
Giroud bangeed in the winner last time out and came up big for the side in a tough moment. The striker has been overused by Stefano Pioli but remains the most potent threat in Milan’s arsenal despite his age. He has 4 goals and 2 assists in 6 Champions League games and will be looking to bolster that tally. He will face up against Dier who has been solid this season but has had numerous fumble from central defence. Giroud has faced Tottenham in derbies as both an Arsenal FC and Chelsea FC player hence will recognise quite a few players and somewhat understand their system.
Right wingback vs Left wingback
Alexis Saelemaekers vs Ivan Perisic
Perisic was always a nightmare for us when he was at Inter Milan and played a crucial role in the title win. He is a complete wingback and will be a massive challenge for us in this game. Saelemaekers has been one of the best players in the previous two games in his new role in the 3-4-3 system. The battle between them will be a key one for the outcome of the game as the wingbacks will drive the play forward for both sides in this expectedly cagey affair. This could be the system that unlocks Saelemaekers as a solid player in this side.
Centre back vs Striker
Fikayo Tomori vs Harry Kane
Tomori struggled to make an impact in his return to face Chelsea earlier in the season as Milan conceded 3 goals in the first leg and he gave away a penalty and got sent off in the second game as we lost 3-0 and 2-0 respectively. He is not having a great season but needs to show Southgate he is worthy of an England call up with a top notch performance against an English side in the biggest competition. Harry Kane will be a menace and will look to score against Tatarusanu to cement himself as the top scorer in the history of Tottenham, This is a big opportunity for Tomori to show how good of a defender he i.