AC Milan take on Tottenham Hotspur in London tonight as Stefano Pioli’s men look to secure a place in the quarter finals of the UEFA Champions League. Milan have not made it to the final eight since the 2011/12 season. Milan hit a bump at the weekend ending their four game winning streak so helpfully a strong mental response is seen and carries them through. Here are some key battles to look out for:
Right attacker vs Centre back
Rafael Leao vs Cristian Romero
He was booked last ime out and looked to be the player in the defence to beat. Leao will be eager to get the chance to run at him and force some mistakes. He is overly aggressive and Theo combining with Leao should be able to crack his side open. We need a 10/10 performance from the Portuguese winger in this game where he creates tangible results. This is a game that marks the next step for this side so qualification needs to be achieved at all costs and as the best player in the squad, he needs to step up.
Central midfielder vs Central defensive midfielder
Rade Krunic vs Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg
This is the scary one for us as we struggled to dominate the midfield when it was Skipp and Sarr so having Hojbjerg back will make the tie harder for us. He is physical and has some pace in bursts. Krunic has been thrown into the deep end here as Bennacer will be on the bench and Diaz will start further up. He will need to match his performance from the reverse tie at the very minimum and support driving the ball further up the pitch. Krunic will need to maintain a high tempo throughout the game and really impose himself to limit the reach of their midfield.
Striker vs Centre back
Harry Kane vs Malick Thiaw
Another tough battle, Thiaw was insanely effective against Kane in the reverse fixture but Kane at home is a different beast. The England striker is lethal and can flip a switch to change a game. It will be a shame if we concede a penalty as he will likely bury it and that means no mistakes from Thiaw, Kalulu and especially Tomori will be the key to securing a win and a spot in the next round. Thiaw has a tough game on the weekend but covered his bases as expected, we need a strong display from the youngster and a good command of the area from the trio.