AC Milan are getting ready for their third and final match in the United States, and a date with Antonio Conte’s Chelsea. This will be the first ever event at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Following a very poor showing in a 2-0 defeat to Liverpool in the second match of this years ICC, Milan will look to leave with their heads held high. A win over Chelsea would do just that.
Montella’s third game at the rossoneri helm was nothing like his first two (2-1 victory over Bordeaux and a penalty shoot-out win over Bayern Munich). Against Liverpool, Milan failed to show up throughout the match. They didn’t have a single shot on target. Overall, it was a dreadful performance, and Liverpool had firm control of the contest.
Vincenzo Montella looks set to continue with the 4-3-3 formantion, after using it in the first three pre-season matches. Against Liverpool, Montella decided to introduce youngester Zanellato from the first whistle. However, he doesn’t look set to start again, same with Bertolacci. However, Andrea picked up a knock against Liverpool. The back line looks to be almost the same, and Suso is rumored to be dropped from the attack, despite impressing in the first two friendlies. Slovakian Kucka may start his first match of the new season, after coming off the bench to replace Abate at the break against Bayern, and Bertolacci in the 33rd minute against the Reds.
Probable XI: (4-3-3) Donnarumma; Abate, Paletta, Romagnoli, Calabria; Kucka, Poli, Bonaventura; Honda, Luiz Adriano, Niang.
Chelsea are coming of mixed fortunes this pre-season so far. Having defeated Austrian outfit Wolfsburger AC 3-0 and Liverpool 1-0 in the ICC. They have also lost two matches aswell, a 2-0 defeat against another Austrian squad, Rapid Vienna. Real Madrid defeated the 3-2 Blues in front of a record attendence in their second ICC match.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Three or four players come to mind when it comes to asking who should you watch out for. Personally, I fell that Paletta, Poli, Niang and Suso need a close eye. Paletta, is a defender that is nothing special, no doubt. But, when it comes to Milan we are lacking center-backs and I feel that the Ital-Argentine can be a decent partner for easily first choice Alessio Romagnoli, due to the fact that he doesn’t make too many mistakes when on the ball. As for Poli, this feature by Kyle Paynter is spot on. Poli is a hard worker that gives his all for the team, and never seems to run out of energy. The 26 year old put in a great perfomance against German champions Bayern Munich. Niang and Suso are simple really, they are both exciting prospects that have scored this pre-season (Suso brace vs. Bordeaux and Niang against Bayern), they both have pace, the ability to beat their man, and can each grab a goal.
Keep an eye on Chelsea’s Eden Hazard who scored a brace off the bench against Real Madrid. Also, ex-Arsenal Fabregas who can pick a pass.
LAST TIME THEY MET
Three years on from the last time Milan faced Chelsea and it does not look like much has changed. Chelsea walked away from MetLife stadium 2-0 winners in the 2013 edition of the ICC. Both of the goal scorers, Kevin De Bruyne and Andre Schurle have both moved on from the London club. New Jersey didn’t see too much action the last these two met, however, it was pretty straight forward for Chelsea.
This result knocked Milan out of the ICC semi-finals in 2013, and had Chelsea go on to lose the final. That is due to a different format used to this years.
England: Chelsea TV
Indonesia: iNews TV
Italy: PremiumSport HD
Sweden: EuroSport Nordic
USA: ESPN 2, ESPN Deportes