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

By Oliver Fisher -

AC Milan face Genoa at San Siro tonight knowing that a win is an absolute necessity to keep their Scudetto fight alive after two straight draws.

The game should be decided by a few key positional battles across the pitch, starting with the forwards who must find their shooting boots again having not scored in over 210 minutes.

Rafael Leao will probably play close to Giroud and therefore Leo Ostigard will face the tough task of stopping the Portuguese winger, who is without a goal since February. The Norwegian centre-back meanwhile is a threat from set pieces and scored the opener for Genoa in their extra-time cup defeat earlier in the campaign.

That should leave two veterans to battle it out as Olivier Giroud searched for another home goal after four games without one. He has scored all but one of his goals at San Siro this season, and he will battle the 30-year-old Nikola Maksimović who has played in Serie A for nine years now and relishes individual battles like this.

It is likely that one-time Milan target Milan Badelj will be tasked with not letting Franck Kessie establish a presence in the final third. The experiment of playing the Ivorian as a playmaker has produced mixed results so far but if Genoa play with a low block then he will be called upon to affect the game more than Brahim Diaz.

Mattia Destro is on nine league goals for the season but only has 2 in his last 12, though a meeting against his former club could be the perfect tonic for his tough run. Destro has a knack of hurting the Rossoneri, so Fikayo Tomori will have to watch his movement and physicality.

Finally, there will be a battle of two Italian talents in the middle of the park as the 23-year-old Atalanta loanee Filippo Melegoni is tipped to start for the Rossoblu. Sandro Tonali will keep tabs on him, hoping that he can’t add to his tally of 1 goal in 19 games.

Tags AC Milan Milan-Genoa


  1. How about we play Rebic on the right instead of terrible Messias/Saele (and if we need to bench Leao because he’s being lazy and move Rebic to left, bring in Samu on RW). Leave Messias and Saele out of game completely.

    And for the 10/CAM position — play Krunic over Diaz. Diaz falls to the ground from a light breeze. Krunic brings much more positivity than Diaz.

    1. Rebic simply cannot do worse than others on the right side.

      And my prediction is that IF someone score tonight, it’s Destro. Unfortunately.

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