Manchester United and AC Milan renew their familiar rivalry as they face off at the San Siro in Europa League. (UEL) Both teams will fight all out to secure a place in the last-8 of the Europa League this season. United and Milan have Europa league as the only silverware left for them as they trail league leaders domestically. They are gradually going out of the EPL and SerieA trophy with some inconsistent results coming out for both the two. It will be interesting to see which of these sides come out on top today and advance to the quarterfinals. Here at Ball that Matters, we will provide u with a detailed analysis of the match.
Why you should watch this
There is absolutely no reason why you shouldn’t watch this fierce encounter en route to the quarterfinals of the Europa League(UEL). With a stalemate played out at Old Trafford, all eyes will be on this match to see the qualifiers. United will look to seal the deal by taking confidence from their superb away run this season. They are eager to return with at least a trophy for this season in the form of the Europa League. Milan, on the other hand, snatched a home win from United in the first leg after scoring a stoppage-time equalizer. They will look to capitalize on their home advantage and try to win this High voltage clash. An exciting match is up on the cards for football lovers to watch.
The Red Devils are coming onto this match on the back of a dominant show against West Ham in the field. The only point lacking for United in that match as they didn’t get goals upfront. A Bruno Fernandes corner did result in an own goal for Westham but that was merely luck for them. For a team that has drubbed the Saints 9-0, it doesn’t sound so good not to be worthwhile in the attack. It’s an area that will certainly be looked upon with utmost care by Solskjaer. The return of Cavani and Rashford in the Milan Clash though will definitely boost their forward line. United was quite commanding in the midfield and defense in the Westham clash with a ball possession of 62%. Going into the SanSiro, they will take a lot of positives from their recent performances and hope to win convincingly.
FORM GUIDE:- DDWDW(ALL COMPETITIONS)
The Rossoneri’s are heading towards a home (UEL) knockout match after suffering a disappointing loss against Napoli. The Gli Azzurri’s cruised through a goal from Politano and dented further Milan’s hopes of closing the gap in Serie A. Milan were quite in control of the game in both ball possession and passing but lacked the sharpness in attack. Napoli capitalized on this deficiency and handed them a 1-0 loss. They will be looking to shrug off this loss by beating United and securing a last-8 berth in the Europa League. (UEL) They will certainly be inspired by the return of Calhanoglu and Ibrahimovich in the side before the United game. Milan’s midfield is on another level this season and the duel between Kessie and Mctominay could be a match-decider one.
FORM GUIDE:- WDWDL(ALL COMPETITIONS)
The Red Devils are traveling to Milan with a near-fit squad apart from having two or three injuries. Solskjaer will be able to call upon the services of star midfielder Paul Pogba after being passed fit. Uruguayan striker Edinson Cavani is also expected to return in the Milan game after nursing an injury. Donny van de Beek is also on the traveling squad but he is unlikely to feature in the starting XI. He is not passed the match fitness test. Eric Bailly and Anthony Martial are set to miss out on the match again for not being fit for the game. David De Gea has completed a mandatory isolation period after returning from but Henderson is likely to retain his place. Phil Jones and Juan Mata are certain to miss the fixture due to chronic injuries.
Solskjaer is more likely not to ring in many changes for the Milan game from the one that beat Westham. Mason Greenwood is expected to take the place of Daniel James on the right-wing. Edinson Cavani will take up his position as a striker possibly. Apart from this, there are no other changes to happen perhaps.
The Rossoneri’s will be going into the match quite confidently with the return of several key players. Halkan Calhanoglu, the Turkish playmaker, has returned for them in the previous Napoli clash. Zlatan Ibrahimovich, the ace Swede striker, is hoped to be back before the United match. He will start on the bench more likely and later come on as a substitute after overcoming a thigh problem. Theo Hernandez is also in line for the Milan side to occupy the pivotal left-back position. Ante Rebic will miss the clash owing to a two-game domestic ban after picking out the red card last match. Other than this, there are no known injury concerns in the team.
Pioli will have to choose between Sandro Tonali and Soualiho Meite for a place in the Central Midfield alongside Kessie. Alexis Saelemaekers will replace Sami Castillejo in the attack. Fikayo Tomori and Davide Calabria are likely to come on for Gabbia and Diego Dalot in defense. If Ibra is a fit start up front in place of Leao. No other significant changes are unlikely to take place.
HEAD TO HEAD
The two teams have faced each other at the European level 11 times. Both sides have won 5 each and drawn one. The last time they locked horns against each other, it resulted in a 1-1 draw at Old Trafford.
Players to watch out for
1) Bruno Fernandes
There are absolutely no adjectives in the dictionary to describe Bruno’s performance for United this season. He has been on another level. He already has 23 goals and 13 assists in his kitty. Again, the Portuguese will be the main man to carry United’s hopes of progressing into the quarterfinals.
2) Marcus Rashford
Along with Bruno Fernandes, Rashford has been the breakthrough man for the Red Devils. He has already scored 18 goals and given 10 assists this season. Returning from injury, he will be eager to polish his scoring boots once again.
3) Hakan Calhanoglu
The Turkish attacker is relieving the form of his life in Milan. He has been the supply line for Ibrahimovich and Leao apart from scoring goals himself. He already has notched up 8goals and 8assists for the Rossoneri’s and will be the man to watch out for.
4) Zlatan Ibrahimovich
The talismanic Swedè, popularly known as King Zlatan, has been on fire for Milan. He has chipped in with 16 goals and 2 assists for the Reds and Blacks. Playing after an injury layoff, he will be hungry to deliver for them should he start against United.
In all respects, this last-16 knockout UEL clash match will be an enticing one to watch. United will be disappointed after they were leading till the 90th min and conceded in the injury time thereafter only. They will try to rationalize that disappointment by winning today to secure that elusive last-8 berth. Again, Milan will look to topple United and recover their excellent start to the season early on. Expect an enthralling match to occur at the San Siro.
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