AC Milan Head to Anfield in First Champions League Game in Seven Years

AC Milan

AC Milan travel to Anfield to take on Liverpool on Wednesday night. This will be the Rossoneri‘s first Champions League match in nearly seven years, and it comes against a past rival.

There was Istanbul in 2005 where Liverpool completed the impossible in the final and came back and won from being down three goals against Milan. Then, of course, there was Athens two years later where Milan got their revenge.

Both teams encountered slumps and poor seasons shortly afterward, but Liverpool put all that to past and recently played in two Champions League finals, winning one. Milan, on the other hand, are finally getting over their poor play. The Rossoneri will not be favorites for this match, but it’s shaping up to be competitive nonetheless.

AC Milan: Previewing the Match Against Liverpool

AC Milan Form

The positive for Milan coming into this match is their hot form. They sit at second place in Serie A with nine points from three matches – all victories. They’ve won by a combined score of 7-1. The defence is as staunch as ever and the goals are coming in. What makes this more impressive is that the majority of the time the team has spent on the pitch has been without stars Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Franck Kessie.

Mike Maignan was given the seemingly impossible task of making Milan fans forget about Gianluigi Donnarumma, but he has been doing just that. Fikayo Tomori looks more and more like a bargain from Chelsea every match. Young players such as Sandro Tonali, Rafael Leao, and Brahim Diaz are showing out as well. The whole squad is firing on all cylinders and will look to make a statement against Liverpool.

The team is finally healthy as well, as Ibrahimovic and Kessie have returned whereas Oliver Giroud has recovered from COVID-19. They’ll all be ready for Liverpool.

AC Milan Team News

Maignan, of course, will be the man in between the posts. The defence is likely to remain consistent and feature Theo Hernandez on the left, Tomori and Simon Kjaer in the middle, and Davide Calabria on the right.

The midfield double pivot has featured a lot of Sandro Tonali, but Ismael Bennacer did not start the last match in anticipation of being prepared for the Liverpool match. The middle of the pitch will likely feature Kessie and Bennacer. Tonali, however, will be a top name off the bench.

Leao and Alexis Saelemaekers have played well this season, but expect Milan to go for experience here. Alessandro Florenzi and Ante Rebic will man the wings. Star boy Brahim Diaz will play as the attacking midfielder, and Ibrahimovic will look to shine as the lone striker.

Liverpool Form

Liverpool are playing as well as expected, sitting third in the Premier League table. They have 10 points out of a possible 12 in four matches. Their three victories came over Norwich City, Burnley, and Leeds United. All of these, of course, were expected victories.

The one draw came against Chelsea, the reigning European champions. In short, it’s easy to see that Liverpool are back amongst football’s elite after an injury-riddled season last year.

The big team news here is that striker Roberto Firmino is likely to miss the match as he remains in the recovery process of his injury. The Brazilian is uber-talented, but his replacement in Diogo Jota is nearly just as good. Liverpool are quite deep in talent, and Milan will see this early.

Then, of course, the Reds have their fair share of star power. Allison and Virgil van Dijk are amongst the top players at their positions. Fabinho is a brick wall in the midfield. Then Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane are two of the most exciting players in all of football. This doesn’t even cover the whole Liverpool 11, which is incredibly well-rounded.

Milan will have a major test in front of them, against both one of the most talented and experienced teams in the Champions League.

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