Champions League Preview: Real Madrid – Milan
Los Blancos could virtually ascertain qualification for the second round if they defeat the Italians in this massive Group G fixture…
By Subhankar Mondal
First ‘Special’ Test
Real Madrid may not have been spectacular so far this season but they have been pretty much consistent and under coach Jose Mourinho have also strengthened at the back. As a matter of fact, in the last few weeks the nine-time European champions have scored many goals too, defeating Deportivo La Coruna 6-1 at the Bernabeu and then winning 4-1 away at Malaga at the weekend.
However, the match against Europe’s second most successful club provides Mourinho with his sternest challenge so far in the Spanish capital. Last season too the two clubs clashed in Europe’s premier club competition in the group stage and it ended in a 3-2 win for the Rossoneri in Madrid, a result that then coach Manuel Pellegrini was heavily criticised for.
Things are different this time around, though, as with Mourinho at the helm there is real belief that the Spanish and European heavyweights will be able to secure a victory. Madrid have won both their Champions League matches so far and a win on Tuesday evening will see them claim nine points with three rounds of games remaining, virtually seeing them through to the round of 16.
Back To Old Rivalry
Milan are the second-most successful club in European Cup history behind Real Madrid and like their Spanish counter-parts they too will be relishing the clash at the Bernabeu on Tuesday evening.
In the corresponding fixture in 2009-10, the Rossoneri won 3-2. At the time Leonardo was the coach but even under Massimiliano Allegri Milan will be confident of successfully plotting yet another Bernabeu defeat. Furthermore, this time the Rossoneri have an attackline that can genuinely compete with that of Madrid’s, as Ronaldinho, Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Alexandre Pato are sensational upfront. Throw in Robinho and take into consideration midfielder Andrea Pirlo, and you could have a potentially great game on show.
Milan have four points from two games in the Champions League so far and are second in the group. However, a loss in Madrid could prove to be detrimental if Ajax, who have a single point, win against Auxerre and catch up with the Rossoneri.
Fernando Gago is out for a month with a knee problem while the injured duo of Ezequiel Garay and Kaka have yet to feature for Madrid this season. However, centre-back Raul Albiol is fit again and has been included in the squad but Sergio Ramos is out with a knee problem.
Winger Pedro Leon is back in the Champions League fold after being dropped for the trip to Auxerre in France on Matchday Two but playmaker Sergio Canales has been left out of the 20-man team.
There were some fitness doubts on Milan goalkeeper Christian Abbiati, who picked up an injury at the weekend, but he has been included in the team. Centre-back Thiago Silva too has been included. However, Massimo Ambrosini and Marek Jankulovski are out.Click here to follow the Goal.com Twitter feed and join Goal.com USA's Facebook fan page!
Top 3 Predictions
Real Madrid 1-2 Milan
- 14.45 %
Real Madrid 3-1 Milan
- 10.37 %
Real Madrid 2-0 Milan
- 9.43 %
|Club Friendlies (FRC)||Aug 8, 2012||Real Madrid 5 - Milan 1|
|UEFA Champions League (UCL)||Nov 3, 2010||Milan 2 - Real Madrid 2|
|UEFA Champions League (UCL)||Oct 19, 2010||Real Madrid 2 - Milan 0|
|UEFA Champions League (UCL)||Nov 3, 2009||Milan 1 - Real Madrid 1|
|UEFA Champions League (UCL)||Oct 21, 2009||Real Madrid 2 - Milan 3|
|Apr 16, 2014||Barcelona 1 - Real Madrid 2||ESPC|
|Apr 12, 2014||Real Madrid 4 - Almeria 0||LIGA|
|Apr 8, 2014||Borussia Dortmund 2 - Real Madrid 0||UCL|
|Apr 5, 2014||Real Sociedad 0 - Real Madrid 4||LIGA|
|Apr 2, 2014||Real Madrid 3 - Borussia Dortmund 0||UCL|
|22||Ángel Di María||Midfielder|
|8||Gennaro Ivan Gattuso||Midfielder|