UCL Group B : Atletico Madrid V/s AC Milan

Spanish giants Atletico Madrid travel to resurrected Italians A.C. Milan in what is going to prove a very great battle between two of the most interesting sides presently in Europe. This will be Milan’s first home game in UEFA Champions League since 2014, a season in which they were coincidentally knocked out by Atletico. Atletico won 1 – 0 in San Siro before romping 4 – 1 in Madrid.

Both teams have had a super season until now and will be looking to consolidate these 3 points today to put that on the stamp. Milan has won out of 6 in the Serie A, drawing the other one whereas Atletico lost out to Alaves at the weekend, having impressed before. The Milan side led by Stefano Pioli played an impressive game against Liverpool in the opening match of their group and almost came away with a point.

The Spanish side is in complete contrast to the Reds. A great defense that is very tough to break is their selling point. Atletico meanwhile drew with Porto in a rugged game in their opener. A loss or draw today and Liverpool winning, would mean chances of Atleti progressing to the next round become very bleak.

All in all, this will prove to be a very interesting match as both sides will go out and look for a win which will improve their chances of qualifying for the next round.

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STATS

  1. The only times these two sides have met each other is the 2013 – 14 UEFA Champions League Round of 16, where Milan lost both the ties.
  2. This is Atletico’s fifth game against Italian Opposition in UEFA Champions League under Diego Simeone. Since they won the first, they have failed to win in the last four without scoring a goal. (D2, L2)
  3. A.C. Milan have won only one of their last 17 games against Spanish opponents in European Competition (D7, L9). They’re winless in seven games since their only victory, 2 – 0 vs F.C. Barcelona in February 2013.
  4. Atletico have failed to win their two opening UCL games under Diego Simeone on one occasion before. They drew 0 – 0 vs Roma and lost 2 – 1 vs Chelsea.
  5. A.C. Milan have managed to keep only 1 clean sheet in their last 10 home games in European competitions, which came in last year’s Europa League against Sparta Prague, a 3 – 0 win.

FORM

A.C. Milan – W W W L D W W

Atletico Madrid – W W D W D D W L

TEAM NEWS

A.C. Milan

Zlatan Ibrahimovic continues to be out as he recovers from an injury. Tiemoue Bakayoko, Rade Krunic, and Alessandro Florenzi also continue to sit out with their respective injuries. Apart from this, all the plays are available. Milan impressed against Spezia with a number of players giving solid impressive performances.

Mike Maignan is stipulated to start in goal after his impressive performance against Liverpool. Simon Kjaer is back and he will be looking to slot into the central defense along with Fikayo Tomori. They will be flanked by Davide Calabria and Theo Hernandez. Daniel Maldini scored the first goal of their career. But he will be dropped for the impressive Brahim Diaz. Rafael Leao could slot in place of Ante Rebic on left, while Alexis Saelemakers would take his position on the right, meaning Giroud will start up front. Ismael Bennacer could be partnered with Franck Kessie to complete the lineup.

PREDICTED LINEUPS

Formation 4 – 2 – 3 – 1

Mike Maignan

Davide Calabria ,Simon Kjaer ,Fikayo Tomori ,Theo Hernandez

Franck Kessie, Ismael Bennacer

Alexis Saelemakers, Brahim Diaz, Rafael Leao

Olivier Giroud

PIOLI (Milan) and Simone (Atletico Manager ) -Uefa Champions League
PIOLI (Milan) and Simone (Atletico Manager ) -Uefa Champions League

Atletico Madrid

Jan Oblak will be the obvious choice for the position of goalkeeper. Since Savic is suspended, it would mean Jose Gimenez could come into the lineup along with Felipe and Mario Hermoso to complete the backline. Kieran Trippier and Yannick Carrasco will be flanking the defense. Midfield will comprise Diego Llorente, Koke, and De Paul. The front will be occupied by Luis Suarez and Joao Felix.

PREDICTED LINEUPS

Formation – 3 – 5 – 2

Jan Oblak

Jose Gimenez, Felipe ,Mario Hermoso

Kieran Trippier, Diego Llorente ,Koke ,Rodrigo De Paul ,Yannick Carrasco

Joao, Felix Luis Suarez

Players to watch out for

AC Milan

Olivier Giroud

 His prowess and experience will be the ones Milan will need in their attack if they want to see this off with a comfortable win. He will look to hurt Atleti and give his team the much-needed win they want in order to go to the next round.

Milan Players to watch out for - Maigan and Giroud
Milan Players to watch out for – Maignan and Giroud

Mike Maignan

He will have a tough job in the night where he will face off against a very formidable attack. He will look to replicate his performances vs Liverpool to give his team the Advantage.

Atletico Madrid

Correa

 He will be called on to provide and showcase his amazing goal-scoring services should Atleti fail to score. He has already provided a glimpse of his flair and ability and will be looking to show that again.

Atletico Madrid Players to watch out for - Oblak and Correa
Atletico Madrid Players to watch out for – Oblak and Correa

Oblak

He will have a lively night. He will have to show his abilities and help his team if they’ve to win this one. His services will be called upon very often.

Conclusion

Both sides had a disappointing first game and will be looking to make amends for that. While Milan has been impressive so far in the season, we cannot sleep on Atleti. Expect a match of strong defenses not letting goals out easily. Some amazing duels in the middle of the park are expected to be seen.

We Predict, A.C. Milan 2 – 2 Atletico Madrid

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