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

By Oliver Fisher -

AC Milan will be looking to record their first Champions League win of the season against Dinamo Zagreb tonight at San Siro.

Not only would it be a first win in Europe in 2022-23, but it would also be a first Champions League home win since September 2013 (vs. Celtic) if Milan were to emerge victorious tonight. However, Dinamo Zagreb are top of their league with 25 points from a possible 27, and they are top of Group E having beaten Chelsea at home last week.

The game will be largely influenced by some key battles across the pitch, and first worth mentioning is the one between Dinamo striker Mislav Orsic and centre-back Pierre Kalulu. The 29-year-old forward has 10 goals in 16 games across all competitions this season and will provide a stern challenge for the Frenchman as the main threat for the away side.

Right up at the other end, centre-back Josip Sutalo is another player that should be monitored tomorrow for Dinamo as he believed to be a great talent at 22 years old. He played in the heart of the defence against Chelsea – helping keep a clean sheet – but he will face a wise veteran in Olivier Giroud who wants to score his first UCL goal for Milan.

The decision seems to have been made to start Brahim Diaz as the playmaker behind Giroud, and his duel with Dinamo’s holding midfielder Josip Mišić will be an interesting one. Misic did not look behind the pace dealing with Chelsea’s forward group of Havertz, Aubameyang, Mount and Sterling when they moved centrally.

Milan’s left side is where the main threat is expected to come from, and the 30-year-old right centre-back Stefan Ristovski will have the tough task of dealing with Rafael Leao. The Portuguese winger faces the North Macedonia international looking for his first goal in Europe since the one against Atletico Madrid at San Siro last season.

Finally, we must mention the battle between Arijan Ademi and Ismael Bennacer in the midfield. The 31-year-old – who is also a North Macedonia international – has three goals this season and his penetrating runs plus fierce shot must be watched by his counterpart Ismael Bennacer in the double pivot.

Tags AC Milan Milan Dinamo Zagreb
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