- Milan will make their first appearance in the Champions League knockouts for the first time in nine years as they host Tottenham Hotspur on Tuesday night.
- Hugo Lloris and Yves Bissouma have been ruled out of the clash for Spurs, whilst Rodrigo Bentancur is a big doubt after picking up an injury over the weekend.
- Both sides have been met with inconsistent domestic form all season as they are set to battle it out at the San Siro for first leg advantage.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic returned to the Milan squad at the weekend in their 1-0 win over Torino for the first time in nine months. However, the forward has not been registered for the competition so won’t be available for this one.
Sergino Dest has returned to training but he is also not registered for the knockouts. Mike Maignan remains out due to long-term injury.
However, positive news for the Rossoneri is that England defender Fikayo Tomori has been training with the regular group after missing Milan’s last three Serie A fixtures. Both he and former Arsenal midfielder Ismael Bennacer could be in line for a return to the side, with the Algerian having also returned to training after missing the last two games for Stefano Pioli’s men. Alessandro Florenzi also returned to training in a boost for Milan.
Spurs will be without their starting goalkeeper Hugo Lloris after he recently suffered knee ligament damage, meaning Fraser Forster is set to start in goal for Antonio Conte’s side.
Rodrigo Bentancur is also a big injury doubt after being forced off against Leicester City at the weekend, adding to their midfield issues with Yves Bissouma also injured and Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg suspended. The former Brighton & Hove Albion midfielder has suffered a stress fracture in his ankle and requires surgery to fix the issue. Ryan Sessegnon will miss out due to a hamstring injury.
Champions League Form
Spurs did manage to top their Champions League group, albeit in a relatively easy one with the calibre of Frankfurt, Sporting and Marseille completing Group D. Things were far from easy for Spurs, however, with a 2-0 defeat away to Sporting in their penultimate group game sending their knockout qualification to the wire.
Milan were always the likely second-placed team in Group E and they provided no shocks by finishing ahead of RB Salzburg and Dinamo Zagreb. They suffered defeats in both their matches against Chelsea, who ended up topping the group, but comfortable wins over Salzburg and Zagreb helped them to qualify for the knockouts.
UCL 22/23 Key Stats:
Goals For: Milan 12, Spurs 8
Goals Against: Milan 7, Spurs 6
Both Teams to Score %: Milan 33.33%, Spurs 50%
Over 2.5 goals %: Milan 66.67%, Spurs 33.33%
It has been some time since the two teams last met in competitive action, with their last meeting coming all the way back in 2011 at the same stage of the Champions League knockouts.
Spurs came away victorious after a 1-0 win at the San Siro was enough to see them through, having drawn the second leg 0-0 at White Hart Lane. A late goal from Peter Crouch would send the likes of Clarence Seedorf, Ibrahimovic and Andreas Nesta out of the competition early.
For 167 minutes of football after the World Cup, Milan looked in a strong position to challenge Napoli for the title. A 2-1 win away to Salernitana before racing away to 2-0 lead at home to Roma seemed to be the perfect start for the Rossoneri as they looked to begin the chase.
However, a calamitous end to their clash against Roma that saw them throw away their two-goal advantage and draw 2-2 would signal the beginning of their downfall. Ever since, Milan have picked up just one win in all competitions.
Respective 4-0 and 5-2 defeats would be followed by a better defensive display by the Italian champions against Inter in the Derby della Madonnina but they still came away from the match with nothing. They recorded an imperative three points on Friday, picking up a 1-0 win over Torino - their first victory for over a month.
Antonio Conte’s Spurs have been far from glamorous this season either and currently occupy fifth place in the Premier League table. Spurs seemed to be getting back on track with a wonderful 1-0 win over Manchester City but a 4-1 defeat at the hands of Leicester on Saturday sees them head to this one in inconsistent form.
Nevertheless, Spurs have been underwhelming this season, with many expecting the club to have progressed further by now after securing Champions League football last term, pipping North London rivals Arsenal to the final spot. They have lost eight matches so far this season and have not shown enough, with similar patterns of last season remaining.
Prediction & Suggested Bets
Milan 2-2 Spurs @ 9/1 Milan have been a total disaster at the back in recent weeks and we think that Harry Kane could capitalise. Both sides have been incredibly inconsistent but Milan have been extremely poor, bar from their recent win over Torino. With Spurs conceding four goals away to Leicester at the weekend, we could see this being a high-scoring game.
Harry Kane Anytime Goalscorer @ 6/4 As stated above, Milan’s shocking defensive record of late could open the door for the likes of Kane to find the scoresheet. Despite scoring just one Champions League goal so far this term, the market offers good value, especially with Tottenham’s all-time top goalscorer netting five goals in his last seven starts in all competitions.
Cristian Romero to be Carded @ 8/5 The Argentine is known to attract frequent bookings and Cristian Romero already has seven to his name in the league so far this season. He missed the last match against Leicester due to ill-discipline and has received a card in all four of his last outings.
Click here for our Discounted Account Offer. Access updated previews and analysis on up to 5 tournaments for 30 days.
Paris Saint-Germain host FC Bayern Munich on Tue...