The Round of 16 for the UEFA Champions League is finally here and to kick off things, we’ve got a tasty encounter between Italian giants AC Milan and Champions League newcomer Tottenham (yeah, I said tasty, big deal, you want to fight about it?). The match will be at the San Siro, though, in my opinion, I’m not sure if that makes Milan the favorites to gain advantage in the first leg. Unfortunately for Milan, Mark Van Bommel, Antonio Cassano, and Urby Emmanuelson are ineligible for the contest, having already played Champions League football for their respective clubs this season. Still, Milan has a decently deep roster to deal with, Robinho, Ibrahimovic, and Pato expected to lead one of the most dangerous attacking sides in all of Europe. Andrea Pirlo will also miss out on the contest after picking up a knock. The men in the AC Milan jersey can score in bunches so expect them to be dangerous throughout the contest.
On the other side of the coin, Tottenham will miss some key players, too. Midfield magician Luka Modric will be a game-time decision for Harry Redknapp while European sensation Gareth Bale will certainly miss the San Siro clash, a huge blow for Hotspur. Rafael Van Der Vaart will probably play (much to the relief of fans). Peter Crouch will be doubtful for the match with a knock to his back, so expect Defoe or Roman Pavlyuchenko to lead the lines for the English side.
Tottenham have already played at the San Siro this season, dropping a thrilling 4-3 contest to Inter, so should be used to the environment. With two key players likely out though, the Milan defense should be a tough nut to crack. I’d expect this one to come down to Ibrahimovic leading his side to a victory with his power and ruthless ability. I’m thinking there’s a chance that the Hotspur defense has a chance to hold up if veteran William Gallas decides to not make a stupid decision early on.
Prediction: An entertaining affair, ending with an AC Milan victory, 2-1, over Tottenham
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