One of AC Milan’s Champions League group stage opponents are currently going through a period of quite dramatic change, which only adds to what should be a fascinating contest.
The news broke earlier this week that Chelsea have sacked head coach Thomas Tuchel six league matches into the season. Despite having three wins on the board in that span, the performances just were not there and certainly weren’t helping to sell Premier League Tickets.
Now, Sky Sports are among the sources confirming that Brighton boss Graham Potter will replace the German as Chelsea owner Todd Boehly met him to discuss his potential role at the club and to outline his project.
A report on their website claims that Tuchel lost his job because of ‘an increasingly difficult relationship with the owners’ and also question marks about whether he had lost some of the key players within the dressing room.
This was deemed unacceptable after Chelsea spent a one-window Premier League record of £273m to back Tuchel with the likes of Wesley Fofana, Kalidou Koulibaly, Marc Cucurella and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
The final straw for Tuchel was the Dinamo Zagreb defeat on Tuesday night in Croatia in what proved to be his 100th and last game in charge of the Blues. Not only did that result spell the end for the ex-Dortmund boss, but it said some things about Milan’s group.
Zagreb are now top of the pile after that win with Red Bull Salzburg having drawn 1-1 with Milan in Austria in the game that followed, all of which seems to challenge any notion that the English and Italian side will comfortably progress from Group E.
Milan returned to the Champions League last season after a seven-year absence and were put in Pot 4 as a result of their damaged co-efficient, eventually finishing bottom of the group after drawing Liverpool, Atletico Madrid and Porto.
After winning the Scudetto in 2021-22, Milan were placed in Pot 1 for the draw this time and while they face a very tough two ties against Chelsea, the other two teams Red Bull Salzburg and Dinamo Zagreb are more manageable in theory.
However, the fact that Chelsea have decided to act in order to change their fortunes and now have a manager who will want to prove a point will only add to an intriguing dynamic, while Salzburg and Zagreb will be desperate to cause a shock and derail the plans of one of the big boys.