AC Milan have been absent from the Champions League for nearly a decade. After a hot run of form last season, the Rossoneri are back. They would’ve hoped for better in yesterday’s draw, however, as they were placed in a tough group. Being in Pot 4 almost guaranteed this, but Milan face a league winner and a recent Champions League winner.
AC Milan Get a Tough Champions League Draw
The Top Opponents
Atletico, of course, are the reigning La Liga champions. Their defence is staunch, and something that’s always been a staple of a Diego Simeone-led team. Jan Oblak will surely give Milan fits, and goals may be hard to come by. Outside of that, the squad is very well-rounded. The midfield is solid and features a former Serie A foe of Milan in Rodrigo de Paul. Luis Suarez will give centre-backs Fikayo Tomori and Simon Kjaer a major challenge. Another interesting storyline here is that Atletico were the last team Milan played in the Champions League in the 2013/14 season.
Liverpool are loaded with talent. Injuries held the team back last season, but they’ll be back in full force. Mohammed Salah and Sadio Mane will be all over the pitch, giving Theo Hernandez and Davide Calabria the most important tasks on the pitch. Even strong and experienced strikers in Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Olivier Giroud will struggle versus a top defender like Virgil van Dijk.
Milan and Liverpool have a storied history in the Champions League. Liverpool, of course, have the famous comeback win in the 2005 final, and Milan found their “revenge” shortly after in the 2007 final.
The Opportunity for AC Milan
It’s safe to say Milan will not be favourites against either Atletico or Liverpool. The opponent to try to rack up points against will be Porto. The Portuguese club finished second in their league last season.
With that being said, they still have plenty of quality. Pepe is a seasoned veteran and their captain. Sergio Oliveira is a genius in the midfield. Luis Diaz and Jesus Corona are major attacking threats.
On paper, Milan are still more talented. Winning both fixtures against Porto will be crucial if Milan wish to have any chance in advancing to the Round of 16.