AC Milan travel to face Fiorentina tonight as the side searches for their fifteen consecutive win and an opportunity to slightly close the gap to Napoli who dropped points yesterday. Stefano Pioli welcomes back Ismael Bennacer and Davide Calabria but will be without Rafael Leao and Rade Krunic for the encounter. Here are some key battles to look out for:
Centre forward vs Centre back
Charles de Ketelaere vs Nikola Milenkovic
De Ketelaere has a massive opportunity with the injury to Diaz and must make an impression with a good performance. He will be playing in as close to a natural position for him since he joined the club. He needs to take risks and find chances, he should not just be lingering by the post. He needs to show his quality by taking on Milenkovic and playing in Rebic and Giroud when he has the opportunity. This needs to be the game where he turns up and begins to show he is adapting to the league. One thing he could help with is to challenge Milenkovic aerially for the balls of the set pieces.
Central midfielder vs Central defensive midfielder
Giacomo Bonaventura vs Ismael Bennacer
The former Milan man will be the one to watch as usual as he has the ability to flip a game on it’s head and knows how to draw in the midfield to create running room for Barak and Saponara behind the lines. Bennacer will be returning to the starting line up and will likely take a bit of time to adjust and get up to speed. There are some good opportunities for Bennacer to strengthen this 3-4-2-1 system with his distribution but he needs to ensure that he partners well with Tonali to dominate that midfield.
Centre forward vs Right back
Ante Rebic vs Dodo
Rebic will start for just the sixth time in the league today and will have a lot of pressure in a unfamiliar system and no natural substitute on the bench. Rebic will need to pick up the creative load that Leao has been carrying and also should be looking to get a goal for himself. Dodo has been strong for Fiorentina in the UECL but this has not always translated to the league. There will be an interesting battle as Rebic and Hernandez look to combine and push forward down on the left.
De Ketelaere Winner