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.