AC Milan face Salernitana in the league tonight with the opportunity to go equal on points with Inter Milan and ahead of Lazio and AS Roma in the top four race. Stefano Pioli was expected to rotate the squad but seems set to maintain the team from the Champions League game in midweek. Here are some key battles to look out for:
Left attacker vs Goalkeeper
Rafael Leao vs Guillermo Ochoa
Leao scored a stunner by going around Ochoa in the previous game two months ago but he also struggled to beat him on a number of occasions. Leao had multiple one-on-ones with the Mexican shot stopper but struggled to beat him. The crucial thing in this game will be to beat him sooner rather than later as he could hold out and force us into a difficult position if we don’t manage to score in the first half. Leao needs to be clinical in this game as he has been extremely sloppy with his shooting in the past couple of months.
Central midfielder vs Central defensive midfielder
Rade Krunic vs Lassana Coulibaly
If you don’t remember Coulibaly, he was the one who sent in about four pinpoint crosses into the box in the final ten minutes of the previous game. He provided the assist for their consolation goal as Bonazzoli beat Tatarusanu at the back post. Coulibaly is difficult to manage as he tends to roam across the midfield. Krunic will have his hands full trying to break up the play and providing respite for the defence. Krunic must look to hold possession and keep the ball moving to ensure we do not get bogged down in the middle of the park.
Right Wingback vs Left wingback
Alexis Saelemaekers vs Domagoj Bradaric
Saelemaekers gets some faith from Pioli to show he is better suited to the position than Messias. He will face an equal wingback and will need to rely on his physicality and pace to make an impact. Bradaric had his red card cancelled in the previous game but caused lots of issues for us with his hard tackling and immense pressure. The wingback will be looking to limit the opportunities for Saelemaekers to press forward and create some service for Giroud/Origi. Bradaric was more productive under Davide Nicola and has dipped in form under Paulo Sousa but still remains a key cog in this unit who helps the side press and will aim to cut out our wing.