The four key battles that could win or lose the game for Milan against Empoli

By Oliver Fisher -

AC Milan will be looking to follow up their impressive win against Napoli by getting another three points against Empoli tonight at San Siro.

The game will be heavily influenced by several key battles and it is expected that the Rossoneri’s 4-2-3-1 will be met by the 4-3-2-1 of Andreazzoli’s side. You can read our match preview here, while below are some of the key battles.

We start with the player who has become the danger man for Milan this season in Rafael Leao, who will have to get the better of Petar Stojanovic who will be Empoli’s right-back. The 26-year-old is a tough defender who will be hard to beat, but the fact Leao is in double figures now in goals for the season will have him feeling confident.

There will be a Romagnoli on the field but it will not be Alessio, rather Simone Romagnoli will be tasked with stopping Olivier Giroud (he has no relation). Giroud netted the winner in Naples last Sunday and will be hoping to build on his 10 goals at San Siro this season, and he will face a veteran 32-year-old defender.

In midfield, Sandro Tonali will have the task of stopping the creativity of Nedim Bajrami who should take up a position behind the centre-forward. The Albanian has been linked with a move to the Rossoneri this week and given he has 9 goals in all competitions this season – including one in the reverse fixture – it is perhaps not a surprise.

Finally, Franck Kessie should start as the attacking midfielder and he will have an interesting battle with Kristjan Asllani at the base of Empoli’s three-man midfield. The Ivorian managed to disrupt Fabian Ruiz at the weekend but tonight the focus will be more on hoping he can have another performance like the one when these two sides met in December during which he scored a brace.

Tags AC Milan Milan Empoli


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