Real Madrid vs AC Milan
Group G, UEFA Champions League
Santiago Bernabue Stadium, Madrid
Tuesday, 19th October 2010
When Milan last visited Bernabeu, they grasped a late winner but things are different this time around. Madrid now have Jose Mourinho and Cristiano Ronaldo has started clicking with Gonzalo Higuain. Whereas Milan’s manager, Massimilano Allegri, is relatively quite inexperienced in the Champions League.
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Mourinho will also have some of the tips he picked up in the two years he spent at the same stadium coaching Inter Milan. While at Inter, Mourinho won three out of the four Milan derbies.
Coming in to this game, Madrid will be high on confident after thrashing Malaga 4-1 at their home and they now have a one point lead over Barcelona and Valencia at the top of the La Liga table.
The other Portuguese ‘celebrity’ at the club, Cristiano Ronaldo, is back and connecting well with Argentine striker Gonzalo Higuain. Although he still has to score in the Champions League this season – he has played two games.
Nailing nine goals in oppositions like Malaga and Deportivo La Coruna is one thing but a new manager and a relatively new-er team are only tested by the biggest powers of European football.
Injuries & Suspensions
Kaka, Ezequiel Garay and Fernando Gago are out with injury still. Sergio Ramos’s knee ligament is still strained. However Pedro Leon, Raul Albiol and Sergio Canales have made it back to the first team this weekend.
AC Milan are also coming in to this game on top of a convincing 3-1 win over Chievo. The only goal against Milan in that game was scored of the head of Zlatan Ibrahimovic. Alexandre Pato (2) and Robinho (1) scored for Milan.
Pato has displayed amazing form recently and he will definitely the one troubling Real’s back-four. Ibra is still finding his way back to his rhythm but he is capable of holding the ball and creating room for Pato. Supporting the attack will be the wingbacks.
Milan are visiting Madrid with a number of familiar faces like their former striker Robinho, former Barcelona men Ronaldinho and Zlatan Ibrahimovic. Of course, Ibra has played under Mourinho at Inter before he was sold to Barca.
Injuries & Suspensions
Massimo Ambrosini and Marek Jankulovski are both out, Massimo Oddo has been left out of the squad and Thiago Silva is duobtful after injuring his ankle against Chievo.
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