AC Milan vs Manchester United – Match PreviewBy: Taylor Rockwell | February 16th, 2010
Who: AC Milan vs Manchester United
What: Champions League – Round of Sixteen
Where: San Siro, Milan, Italy
When: Tuesday, February 16, 2010 (19:45 GMT/2:45 EST)
Why: Cause David Beckham is definitely… most likely… perhaps.. possibly starting for Milan.
Manchester United: Last Five Matches (4 wins, 1 draw, 0 losses, 16 goals for, 2 goals against)
Wednesday, February 10 – Aston Villa 1 – Manchester United 1 @ Villa Park (EPL)
Saturday, February 6 – Manchester United 5 – Portsmouth 0 @ Old Trafford (EPL)
Sunday, January 31 – Arsenal 1 – Manchester United 3 @ The Emirates (EPL)
Wednesday, January 27 – Manchester United 3 – Manchester City 1 @ Old Trafford (Carling)
Saturday, January 23 – Manchester United 4 – Hull City 0 @ Old Trafford (EPL)
AC Milan: Last Five Matches (1 win, 2 draws, 2 losses, 4 goals for, 6 goals against)
Friday, February 12 – AC Milan 3 – Udinese 2 @ San Siro (Serie A)
Sunday, February 7 – Bologna 0 – AC Milan 0 @ Stadio Renato Dall’Ara (Serie A)
Sunday, January 31 – AC Milan 1 – Livorno 1 @ San Siro (Serie A)
Wednesday, January 27 – AC Milan 0 – Udinese 1 @ San Siro (Coppa Italia)
Sunday, January 24 – Inter 2 – AC Milan 0 @ San Siro (Seria A)
How They Got Here: Manchester United
The Red Devils finished on top of Group B, taking thirteen out of eighteen points to secure first place over CSKA Moscow, Wolfsburg, and Besiktas (respectively). United started off the campaign with a 1-0 away win at Besikatas in Istanbul, and then rolled off victories over Wolfsburg (home) and CSKA (away). For a time, United looked slightly shaky at home, managing a 3-3 draw with CSKA on November 3 and a 1-0 defeat to Besiktas on November 25. Yet, with 3-1 away victory over German Champions Wolfsburg, United secured top spot in the group by a full three points.
How They Got Here: Milan
The Rossoneri endured a difficult start to their domestic campaign, but their Champions League performances remained fairly consistent. Milan started off with a 2-1 victory over Marseille, before falling 1-0 at home to FC Zurich. A strong performance in Madrid saw the Rossoneri earn a 3-2 victory, but three subsequent 1-1 draws (home to Madrid, home to Marseille, and away to Zurich) meant Milan finished the group stage with only nine points. However, with Marseille losing to Real Madrid on the final day of the group stage, the Rossoneri secured second place, and a berth in the knockout round.
Points to Ponder:
Why read when you can listen? Check out last night’s podcast to catch up on predicted lineups, the Beckham plotline, the potential fates of Anderson and Vidic, and a whole lot more. Today’s news that Fergie is becoming visibly irritated by Vidic’s prolonged absence and poor mental state is further ammunition that the big Serb could be off to a warmer climate early this summer.
My buddy Brigman joined me for a solid 30+ minute discussion of today’s match…
Predicted Starting Eleven: VDS, Rafael, Rio, Evans, Evra, Scholes, Fletcher, Carrick, Nani, Park, Rooney
Taylor’s Preferred Starting Eleven: VDS, Rafael, Rio, Evans, Evra, Scholes, Fletcher, Carrick, Nani, Valencia, Rooney
Predictions: As Brigman and I agreed upon in the podcast, this one has all the makings of a somewhat boring contest. United traditionally play it safe on the road in the Champions League (although last year’s tie against Inter may serve as inspiration to get a result on the road), and Milan Manager Leonardo certainly won’t want an embarrassing result to cast further aspersions on his first year in charge. The most recent results don’t lie, and the fact that United have netted sixteen times in five matches against Milan’s four indicates sides heading in different directions. Nevertheless, a strong Italian defense could stifle a solitary Wayne Rooney, and if support isn’t prevalent (Park/Nani/Valencia, I’m looking in your direction), then this one could be frustrating to say the least. My gut says 0-0 or 1-1, but I’m hoping for 1-0 or 2-1 United… We shall see… Post your ideal starting eleven, predicted scoreline, or other pertinent info below… Let’s start the knockout round in style!!!!