Atletico vs Milan

Match Preview: Atletico Madrid vs AC Milan - Down and out Milan will look to make the side from Madrid stumble into the Europa

Atletico Madrid are set to welcome  AC Milan to the Wanda Metropolitano in a Champions League group stage clash. The match could prove pivotal for the Spanish side who are chasing Porto for that 2nd place spot in the group behind Liverpool.

Although AC Milan’s return UCL campaign did not go how they would have wanted, they would love to spoil Atletico’s chances of making it through the next stage.

Diego Simeone’s Atletico scraped past Pioli’s AC Milan in the reverse fixture. Los Rojiblancos defeated Milan 2-1 at the San Siro. In the game the Italian side were really deterred by the red card to Kessie in the 29th minute.

The red card changed the game arguably, AC Milan looked the more dominant side up till that point. Simeone would be vary of the threat Milan pose and would be hoping his Atletico side can get another much needed victory if they wish to make it through to the next stage.

The side from Madrid are really struggling this season in the league too, especially compared to Los Blancos who currently sit at the summit of .

They have won 5 games on trott in the league but they were completely destroyed by Liverpool at Anfield who look impeccable this season in the attacking sense. Something Atletico seem to really lack at the moment as they are finding attacking semblance hard to come by. Pioli’s AC Milan would be dying to deny them a spot for the next round and condemn them to the Europa League.

Pioli would not be bothered by Milan’s position in the UCL this season. In fact he would be proud that the Rossoneri returned to the greatest stage in European football under his tutelage.

They also put on some magnificent attacking displays for the neutrals, especially that game against Liverpool at Anfield. It is clear that the team is progressing under Pioli who would have wished for more out of the UCL but has his eyes firmly fixed on the Scudetto as they sit 2nd tied with Napoli on points who are only ahead because of goal difference.

Although their first defeat in Serie A came very recently in an enthralling match against Fiorentina. AC Milan would love to show what to expect from this young prospering team for next year’s UCL campaign against Atletico, who have everything to lose.

TEAM NEWS

Diego Simeone would be a little miffed about the fact that two of his most influential players are unavailable for this game in Llorente and Lemar. Lemar especially has found a new home in the center midfield and seems to be reviving his career. Simeone also would not be able to call upon the services of Joao Felix for the game against Milan as Atletico will hope Cunha, Griezmann and Suarez are enough in attack to pull them through.

Simeone has really experimented with his formations again this season. He has often switched between a 3 at the back and 4 at the back system. Their most recent victory in La Liga saw them deployed in the 4 at the back system. It would be interesting to see what El Chollo goes with.

Atletico Probable Line-up(3-1-4-2) : Oblak,Felipe, Jimenez,Hermoso; Kondogbia;Trippier,Koke, De Paul, Carrasco; Griezmann and Correa

Milan have a similar problem to that of Atletico just in a different area of the pitch. Atletico are weakened by injuries to players that make up their creative hub, but Milan’s problems lie in defence. Mike Maignan and Alessandro Plizzari are both out injured meaning Tatarusanu is the only fit keeper Pioli has for this game.

The other important cogs of defense that will be missing for this game include Tomori and Calabria who have been ever present under Pioli. Rebic is also on the injury list and will most likely not feature in the matchday squad.

AC Milan Probable Line-up (4-2-3-1): Tatarusanu, Kalulu, Kjaer, Gabbia, Hernandez; Kessie, Tonali; Saelemakers, Diaz, Leao; Ibrahimovic

GAME CHANGERS

Angel Correa has been the unsung hero for Atletico over the last seasons. His consistent displays have made sure that his club is always in the hunt for silverware. A start to a solid goal scoring run in the UCL for Atletico could lead them deep in the competition.

Zlatan and Leao have been Milan’s sharpest attackers this season. But the eternal Zlatan seems to finally be hitting his stride in Serie A. The big swede would look to carry that goal scoring momentum into this game.

PREDICTIONS

Atletico have everything to play for in this game whereas Milan have nothing to lose. If Atletico do not come out, all guns blazing from the first whistle it could spell disaster for them. Milan would look to blitz them. We see this game being a cagey affair. FootTheBall predicts this game will end 3-2 in Milan’s favour.

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