Both Liverpool and AC Milan are flying high in their respective leagues ahead of clashing heads at Anfield on Wednesday night. These two European elites have only met twice before, that too in the Champions League finals more than a decade ago. Although the Rossoneri won 2007 final, the Reds’ epic comeback in Istanbul (2005) is still regarded as one of football’s greatest ever fairy tales.
Milan, meanwhile, have recovered from turmoil and are back in the Champions League after 8 long years. They are a formidable force under Stefano Pioli and the home side, therefore, must prepare themselves for a stern test in this massive ‘Group of Death’ fixture.
Liverpool Vs AC Milan Tactical Preview
The Reds should utilize the home advantage and exhibit their pressing game. Jurgen Klopp would field his side as 4-3-3, however, it is to be seen whether he rotates the squad as the likes of Joe Gomez, Naby Keita, Kostas Tsimikas and Ibrahima Konaté are waiting for their opportunities. Having said that, the gaffer must field the strongest possible XI against the Serie A giants. Liverpool would have their chances to find the net, but the wastefulness high up the pitch might prove costly given Milan’s resilience and composure in the defensive third.
Milan, on the other hand, are likely to opt for a 4-2-3-1. The double-pivot of Franck Kessie and Sandro Tonali in the middle of the park would add more cover at the back, also the return of Zlatan Ibrahimovic might help them convert swift counter-attacking moves against the run. Virgil van Dijk and Joel Matip must not lose focus while marking the iconic Swedish hitman.
Liverpool would be without their rising sensation Harvey Elliott following a horrible ankle dislocation endured against Leeds United. Roberto Firmino and Takumi Minamino remain uncertain due to their thigh strains. Neco Williams is sidelined as well with an ankle injury.
Liverpool Predicted XI
Alisson Becker; Trent Alexander-Arnold, Joel Matip, Virgil van Dijk, Andrew Robertson; Fabinho, Jordan Henderson, Thiago Alcantara; Mohamed Salah, Diogo Jota, Sadio Mane.
The visitors might miss the services of Tiemoue Bakayoko who lasted for 13 minutes after coming on as a second-half substitute against Lazio. Olivier Giroud might return to action overcoming a Covid-enforced absence.
AC Milan Predicted XI
Mike Maignan; Davide Calabria, Alessio Romagnoli, Fikayo Tomori, Theo Hernandez; Sandro Tonali, Franck Kessie; Alexis Saelemaekers, Brahim Diaz, Rafael Leao; Ante Rebic.
Klopp would once again rely on Mohamed Salah to find the net. Van Dijk has been immense since recovering from a severe knee injury, also the availability of Fabinho in the midfield base should see them orchestrate the show with sheer expertise. Trent Alexander-Arnold must keep on making marauding runs to link up with Salah down the right-hand flank.
Although the likes of Rafael Leao and Ante Rebic are capable enough to cause menace in Liverpool defence, all eyes would be on Ibrahimovic and his exquisite scoring traits. Alessio Romagnoli in deep defence and Franck Kessie in the centre of the pitch have what it takes to make a difference.