Tuesday in the Champions League holds another clash of European giants with reigning La Liga champions Atletico Madrid traveling to San Siro to take on AC Milan. AC Milan and Atletico Madrid clashed in Milan’s last home match in the Champions League, back in 2014 – a 1-0 loss for the Rossoneri. Group B was off to a scintillating start, but neither of these teams got the result they wanted. Milan lost 3-2 to Liverpool at Anfield, while Atletico drew with Porto. The race to reach the round of 16 is already heating up.
Milan are in solid form since their loss to Liverpool. After that match, they drew at Juventus. Despite Juventus’ struggles struggles this season, a draw was a solid and fair result.
The next match came versus Venezia. Milan struggled in the first half, often looking tired and uninspired. Second-half substitutions changed the match, with Brahim Diaz and Theo Hernandez scoring goals to win 2-0.
Milan’s latest match came versus Spezia. Daniel Maldini, the son of director and Milan legend Paolo Maldini, scored the opener in his first-ever Serie A start. Milan conceded a goal afterward, but Diaz came on and finished the match off with a winner for a 2-1 victory.
Atletico, on the other hand, have struggled since the Porto match. They drew 0-0 with Athletic Bilbao. Then they won unconvincingly in a 2-1 showdown versus Getafe. This past weekend, they lost 1-0 to Alaves.
Milan will still be without star striker and leader Zlatan Ibrahimovic. His Achilles problems continues to persist.
Mike Maignan, to no surprise, will feature in goal.
Davide Calabria and Simon Kjaer will man the right side of the defence. Kjaer is training individually but expects to return. Fikayo Tomori and Hernandez will man the left. Alessio Romagnoli will be ready to start should Kjaer prove to be unavailable.
The midfield double-pivot will feature Franck Kessie and Sandro Tonali. Bennacer has been healthy and playing very well lately, but Kessie is a big-match player and Tonali has been in incredible form.
The front three behind the lone striker in the 4-2-3-1 formation will feature Alexis Saelemakers on the right, Diaz in the middle, and Rafael Leao on the left. This young trio are playing great football this season with fantastic chemistry amongst each other. Diaz, in particular, has been arguably Milan’s top player all season long.
Ante Rebic will feature out of position once again as the lone striker. Versus Liverpool, however, this wasn’t an issue as he played well. Rebic scored a goal and helped create another. He also started as the lone striker in the game against Juventus and scored the equaliser with a header from a corner.
With Ibrahimovic out, the other option at striker would be Olivier Giroud. Although he started versus Spezia, it’s clear he’s not fully recovered from his back issue. Should Milan struggle to score, Giroud will surely make an appearance. In terms of the starting XI, however, Rebic has proven to show up to the occasion.