Champions League: Tottenham vs. AC Milan – Match Preview

Video by Cristina.

It’s quite clear that the Milan of Serie A is not the Milan of the Champions league. The fact that Van Bommel, Cassano and Urby cannot play is really what is causing this huge gap. This doesn’t mean that Milan should go to White Hart Lane just to play a decent game and get out of the Champions League this season with the least of embarrassments. Serie A might be a much more realistic goal for Milan, but Milan was never about reality. 1994 saw Milan thrash Barcelona’s wonder team. Just four years ago, Milan managed to overcome Bayern Munchen and Manchester United in impressive fashion despite the obstacles the first leg gave in both encounters. It’s a Milan mentality. Even if players like Robinho, Pato, Ibrahimovic, Thiago Silva and Abate aren’t accustomed to seeing Milan do this, that doesn’t mean that they haven’t inherited this mentality from a fellow champion. It’s these kind of things that one learns between the walls in Milanello and from the old guards in the team. There’s a reason why the likes of Seedorf are still on the Milan roster and it’s not all about loyalty.

Many may argue the thought but this is one of Milan’s toughest games if not the toughest. They are traveling to a ground that has caused troubles for Inter Milan and pretty much most English teams; that and the fact that Tottenham have an away goal in their hand. It promises that it’s going to be a tough encounter, a close-to-impossible one as well, but the players have shown that they are going for a win, and they believe in their abilities.

Milan were boosted with the news that Boateng, injured in Milan’s match against Juventus, might be able to start (or play) the game against Spurs. At back, Antonini and Zambrotta will be back but it is expected that Jankulovski will play due to his impressive recent performances and the fact that he’s physically more ready than the previously injured duo. Tottenham on the other hand will most probably have Bale (possible start from the bench) and even Van Der Vaart back, which will give them a relief from an offensive point of view. Milan though will have to do without Pirlo and Ambrosini which are injured and Gattuso which is suspended.

What Milan really need in this game is patience. Its one thing Allegri has pleaded for in most of Milan’s games and boy do they need that on Wednesday night! The Rosseneri can’t afford to do what they did in San Siro again, as this time one mistake will immediately knock Milan out of the Champions League. Milan are only one goal behind, one very precious yet small deficit. Il Diavalo lost their first encounter due to the loss of that patience itself. They all drove forward when they really didn’t need to leaving the field craving for Lennon to take Yepes on. That mistake is what caused the difference. Milan can’t afford to do that again. They need to be very patient. The goals will eventually come. They always came this season, one way or another, and it’s bound to happen if you have players like Ibrahimovic, Pato, and Robinho in front. Milan will be waiting for just one Tottenham mistake, forced or unforced, to take advantage.

Yet, this is all talk. Every single Milan player out there must give it his all. Not just that, as giving one’s all isn’t enough, they all need to perform amazingly as well. Ibrahimovic will have the motive of silencing his critics if he manages to lead Milan to victory. Flamini will need to prove he’s not the animal the English media made him look like and he’s out there to prove why he was once considered one of the best DMs in the Premier League. But, it’s not only about the individual motives. EVERY SINGLE player in the Milan squad will go out there and avenge for Gennaro Gattuso – the player that had to hear the nonsense of the biased and short sighted media all over the world. The players will fight for their fellow brother and their leader on the pitch.

A quote from 300 pretty much sums what Milan need to do: “Give them nothing, but take from them everything”. Be aware White Hart Lane, Il Diavalo ranks are coming to make your land a graveyard of your very own soldiers.

Expected Formations:

Tottenham : Gomez, Hutton , Dawson , Gallas, Assou-Ekotto, Lennon, Jenas, Modric, Bale, Van Der Vaart and Crouch.

Milan : Abbiati , Abate, Nesta, Thiago Silva, Jankulovski, Flamini , Seedorf, Boateng, Robinho, Pato and Ibrahimovic