7 time European champions AC Milan have an uphill task tonight when they face a very in form Manchester United at the Old Trafford. United who won the first leg of this match 3-2 at the San Siro will be hoping that leading scorer Wayne Rooney will be available to help deliver them from Milan’s noose.
Both these teams have met 4 times with Milan emerging victorious on all occasions. This is what makes this tie all the more exciting. United will want to break the curse that follows them whenever they meet Milan. The city of Manchester will welcome back one of their most famous players ever. David Beckham will for the first time in 7 years grace the turf that propelled him to international stardom.
Beckham left United in the summer of 2003 for Real Madrid after his fallout with coach Sir Alex Ferguson. Beckham however is not guaranteed a start tonight. Leonardo has not been keen to give the 34 year old a lot of regular playing time ever since his return from the LA Galaxy. With their top scorer Pato out injured, Leonardo is facing a tough choice between fielding the “specialist” Filipo Inzaghi or Klass Jan Huntelaar in his position.
Leonardo will use his regular 4-3-3 system with Ronaldinho, Borriello and either of the two Inzaghi or Huntelaar in attack. seedorf will replace Beckham who started in his place last time and he will be partnered with Pirlo. Leonardo can choose either Ignazio Abate or Massimo Ambrossini to complete the midfield.
Often considered the heart of every Italian team, Milan’s defense will be captained by Nesta playing in a central position, with Zambrotta , Bonera and Thiago. Milan can count on Abbiati to keep the balls from getting in. United on the other hand will be a very formidable side to contend with. Sir Alex will probably use a 4-4-2 formation with Rooney and Berbatov will Marshall the attack. Winger Antonio Valencia is expected to start after impressing as a substitute in their first leg 3-2 win. Ferguson has a wide array of players to pick from and he will be hoping that a Scholes, Giggs and Carrick midfield will be Milan’s undoing.
Defense wise, Rafael will be up against fellow Brazilian Ronaldinho, Evra will be on the left, Ferdinand will be partnered with Vidic or Johnny Evans. This will be a tough one to call but i will go with my gut and predict a 3-2 win in favour of Milan. Meaning the game will be settled on penalties. This as we all know is all based on luck.
Photo credit: Floelz