The five key battles that could win or lose the game for Milan against Cagliari

By Oliver Fisher -

AC Milan will face off against Cagliari tonight at the Sardegna Arena looking to get their third straight win in Serie A and a fourth straight clean sheet in all competitions.

The game will be dictated by a number of key battles that will take place across the pitch, and we start with what should be a fascinating duel between the veteran centre-forward Olivier Giroudwho has just been called up by France – and the young Italian centre-back Matteo Lovato, who was actually linked with the Rossoneri. Giroud will be looking for goal number 12 this season and possibly more, but he has scored just once away from home.

Cagliari’s danger man in transition is definitely Joao Pedro and he will keep Pierre Kalulu busy at the heart of the Milan defence. The Frenchman netted his first goal at San Siro and was fantastic at the back in the win over Empoli last weekend, but he will come up against the Brazilian who has 44 goals and 11 assists in his last 101 league games dating back to the start of the 2019-20 season.

The Milan-born Edoardo Goldaniga will have a tough job thwarting Rafael Leao down Cagliari’s right flank. The Portuguese winger was not at his best in the last couple of games but will look to get in isolation with his 28-year-old opponent and utilise his immense dribbling.

Franck Kessie will be called upon for a big performance after the week was dominated by speculation that he is close to joining Barcelona, and in addition to being crucial in the build-up phase it will be up to him to thwart the once Milan-linked Razvan Marin.

Finally, Alessandro Deiola is a goal threat for the home side as he has five for the season, but his primary task will be to ensure that Brahim Diaz cannot affect the play in between the lines. The Spanish playmaker is without a goal since last September and desperately needs some form.

Tags AC Milan Cagliari-Milan
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