Nine years after his last participation, Milan will once again listen to the ‘Champions’ anthem in the round of 16, to which he arrives immersed in a game crisis and dwarfed by some losses, like his rival, the English Tottenham, without Hugo Lloris or Rodrigo Bentancur, two undisputed starters. The match starts at 5:00 pm (Argentina time) and will be broadcast on ESPN.
Last day’s victory over Turin gave some respite to the team led by the Italian Stefano Pioli, who had accumulated seven games in a row without winning and which reached the challenge eliminated from the Italian Cup, without the possibility of lifting the ‘scudetto ‘ and beaten in the Super Cup final by Inter.
Without the French Mike Maignan under the sticks, without the Algerian Ismael Bennacer and without the English Fikayo Tomori, all injured, Milan will try to stay on the road to victory by taking refuge in the stadium factor, a Giuseppe Meazza who will be overturned to see his team after eleven years without obtaining a passport to the quarterfinals.
The Portuguese Rafael Leao stands as the protagonist of the ‘rossoneri’, even if he is not experiencing his best moment, together with the Frenchman Olivier Giroud, who has scored four goals for the English team in his career and who will add his nineteenth match against the ‘ Spurs’, more than against any other team.
Stefano Pioli should maintain his decision to switch to a central three defence, led by Dane Simon Kjaer and with Frenchman Theo Hernández free in the left lane; with the Italian Sandro Tonali in command in midfield and with the Spaniard Brahim Díaz completing the offensive trident together with Leao and Giroud.
Tottenham make it back to the Champions League after losing two key players. His coach, Antonio Conte, who has just recovered from a gallbladder removal, will not be able to count on Hugo Lloris and Rodrigo Bentancur, two undisputed starters of the English team, neither in the first leg nor in the second leg.
The French goalkeeper has suffered a knee injury and will be out for six to eight weeks, while Bentancur tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee this weekend and will miss the rest of the season. This forces Conte to withdraw Fraser Forster, his replacement goalkeeper who conceded four goals against Leicester City on Saturday.
This is the tone of a Tottenham team that hasn’t found regular regularity with the Italian coach and that, after disarming Manchester City a week ago, broke down against Leicester in the low hours.
However, the “Champions” is a different competition from the “Premier League”, where five players from the top five know what it is like to reach the final, and one of them wins it (Ivan Perisic).
With Harry Kane in form, already the top scorer in the club’s history and with 19 goals this season, Tottenham have a threat many sides would like to have in this competition. Of course, the Englishman has only scored one goal this season and much more will be asked of him now that qualifying begins, above all because there is a juicy contract renewal at stake (Kane only earns 10 million at Tottenham) or a future transfer at Tottenham. win a title.
His easiest example to follow is at the World Cup, when he didn’t score a goal in the group stage and then scored in the round of 16 and quarter-finals.
In order not to remain blank for another season (they haven’t won a title since 2008), Tottenham entrusts everything to the “Champions” or the FA Cup. The trophies are still far away, but it is clear that if they want to touch metal, the ‘Spurs ‘ they will need to be strong in knockout tournaments.
— Probable formations:
. Milan: Tarusanu; Kalulu, Kjaer, Thiaw; Saelemaekers, Tonali, Krunic, Theo; Brahim, Leão and Giroud.
. Tottenham: Fraser; Emerson, Dier, Davies, Romero, Perisic; Hojbjerg, Sarr; This is Kulusevski and Kane.
Referee: Sandro Shcarer (SUI).
Stadium: Giuseppe Meazza (San Siro).
Jason Root is the go-to source for sports coverage at News Rebeat. With a passion for athletics and an in-depth knowledge of the latest sports trends, Jason provides comprehensive and engaging analysis of the world of sports.