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

By Oliver Fisher -

Judgement day is finally upon AC Milan and by 20:00 CEST tonight Stefano Pioli and his side will know if they have done enough to win the Scudetto.

It will not be an easy game against Sassuolo at the Mapei Stadium as they push for a finish inside the top half and look to keep up their impressive exploits in attack, with several key battles likely to be the determining factor.

The first duel worth highlighting is the one between Vlad Chiricheș and Rafael Leao down Milan’s left flank. While Leao is wide left and the Romanian is a centre-back, we foresee the Portuguese winger playing as an inside forward as he does in recent weeks, looking to run off players and get in behind. After scoring against Atalanta he is full of confidence, so the 32-year-old veteran defender will have to use all of his experience.

In a similar vein but at the opposite end, it is likely that Fikayo Tomori will be the man charged with keeping boyhood Inter fan Domenico Berardi quiet. He has 15 league goals this season and causes problems when he cuts in from the right, but will be looking to exploit any space left by Theo Hernandez on the counter.

Meanwhile, Davide Calabria faces a tough battle against Hamed Traore down Sassuolo’s left. The latter is an explosive winger with an eye for goal (7 this season) who has actually been linked with Milan, but the Diavolo have kept 8 clean sheets in their last 10 league games so they will try and improve that further.

In midfield, there should be a fascinating contest between two Italian talents tipped to potentially reach the very top as Sandro Tonali looks to keep another boyhood Inter fan quiet in Giacomo Raspadori. The 22-year-old likes to operate in the space between the lines, so Tonali will have to be touch tight and at the same time facilitate Milan’s build-up play in the way that he has been.

Finally, Rade Krunic could well have a stern test on his hands in shadowing Davide Frattesi. The 22-year-old midfielder has 7 goal contributions this season and is seen as the man who makes things tick for Dionisi’s men, carrying the ball forward and distributing while also not being afraid to shoot if the chance presents itself.

Tags AC Milan Sassuolo-Milan

1 Comment

  1. Calabria needs to have game of his life, seems to have lost confidence and physically a “step”, if he flinches, do not hesitate to put in Florenzi

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