With the 2022/23 Champions League back after over 3 months away on Tuesday night, AC Milan is set to play host to Tottenham Hotspur in the first leg of their last-16 tie.
The Rossoneri will be looking to turn around an underperforming season as they come off an impressive performance against Torino on Friday night, winning 1-0 and moving to fifth position on the Serie A table.
Having initially appeared to be in the running for the Serie A title going into the World Cup break, they however have fallen off considerably in the past few weeks due to a run of defeats. In the Champions League group stage, Stefano Pioli’s men finished second in Group E behind Chelsea after losing on both occasions to the London team.
The Italian boss does not have any new concerns hampering his preparations ahead of his side’s latest fixture. Earlier this week, the Rossoneri received some positive updates after Fikayo Tomori and Ismael Bannacer resumed training. With goalkeeper Mike Maignan and defender Alessandro Florenzi, the only missing players from training.
As for Tottenham, who qualified for the Round of 16 by finishing first in Group D on the final matchday, like AC Milan, have had a disastrous domestic run. And they come into the game on the back of a 4-1 defeat at the hands of Leicester City in the Premier League.
Meanwhile, Antonio Conte return to the touchline after recovering from a gallbladder surgery which had kept him out of the impressive clutch victory against Manchester City and the disastrous defeat at Leicester City.
The Spurs will now look to pick themselves up and dust themselves down as they dream of replicating their memorable run to the Champions League final, which took place under Mauricio Pochettino‘s guidance in the 2018-19 campaign.
Tottenham beat AC Milan 1-0 the last time both teams clashed at San Siro and Conte’s recent record against AC Milan makes a good note for the English team. He has won eight of his past nine matches against the Rossoneri including a 3-0 victory away while he was manager at Inter.
Like their hosts, Tottenham are also unable to call upon their first-choice shot-stopper, with Hugo Lloris ruled out with a knee injury, and his deputy Fraser Forster will be looking for better protection than what he received from his defence at the weekend.
Bentancur sustained a season-ending anterior cruciate ligament injury on Saturday, Yves Bissouma is still injured and Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg suspended.
AC Milan possible starting lineup:
Tatarusanu; Kalulu, Kjaer, Tomori; Calabria, Krunic, Tonali, Hernandez; Diaz, Leao; Giroud
Tottenham Hotspur possible starting lineup:
Forster; Romero, Dier, Davies; Emerson, Sarr, Skipp, Perisic; Kulusevski, Son; Kane