AC Milan vs. Manchester United Stadio Giuseppe Meazza, Milan Italy 2:45 PM EST Tuesday February 16, 2010
by Jason Green at Predictem.com
Match Odds: Manchester United 2.60 AC Milan 2.60 Draw 3.10
Moneyline: Manchester United +160 AC Milan + 165 Draw +210)
Over/Under: 2.5 goals
On Tuesday night at San Siro in what is, arguably, the best match up in the first round of the Champions League knockout phase AC Milan hosts Manchester United. Manchester United finished as the runner up last season in the Champions League loosing to Barcelona in the finals and they did not get a good draw in AC Milan, who have had a resurgent season this year.
AC Milan is back in the Champions League after playing in the UEFA Cup last season. They are in 3rd place in Serie A and even though they had a long streak of wins they have only won one match since they lost the big derby game to Inter Milan on January 25th.
When Manchester United lost Cristiano Ronaldo this last off-season many though they would struggle. That has simply not been the case, as Man U is 2nd in the Premier League only 1 point behind Chelsea and they easily won their Champions League group stage.
AC Milan will be the toughest test for Manchester United so far in Champions
League play and playing at the San Siro is never easy. In an interesting
tid-bit for this game David Beckham will be playing against
his old club since he left Manchester United back in 2003.
Another interesting fact is that AC Milan has never lost in a 2-legged tie when playing Manchester United.
AC Milan’s Ronaldinho has played great this season and is playing like he did when he was one of the top players in the world. Milan will need his offense in this match against a Man U defense that has only surrendered 6 goals in their last 5 matches.
AC Milan Recent Form:
2/12/2010 AC Milan 3 Udinese 2 (Serie A)
2/7/2010 Bologna 0 AC Milan 0 (Serie A)
1/31/2010 AC Milan 1 Livorno 1 (Serie A)
1/27/2010 AC Milan 0 Udinese 1 (Coppa Italia)
1/25/2010 Inter Milan 2 AC Milan 0 (Serie A)
Manchester United Recent Form:
2/10/2010 Aston Villa 1 Manchester United 1 (Premier League)
2/6/2010 Manchester United 5 Portsmouth 0 (Premier League)
1/31/2010 Arsenal 3 Manchester United 1 (Premier League)
1/27/2010 Manchester City 2 Manchester United 3 (England League Cup)
1/23/2010 Manchester United 4 Hull City 0 (Premier League)
The big news for Milan is that you Brazilian striker Pato is back and will probably be in the starting lineup. However, Marco Borriello will not play in this match due to an injury. Even though Beckham has been solid for Milan since come back on loan from L.A. Gennaro Gattuso may get the starting nod. The reason for this is that Becks tends to struggle against teams with solid midfielders like Man U has.
Manchester United does not come into this match at full strength since Nemanja Vidic, Ryan Giggs and Anderson are all out with injuries. However, they will have Rio Ferdinand and Nani and even though both are suspended it is only for Premier League matches.
Ronaldinho has 9 goals and 22 assists in Serie A matches this season and he will take advantage of the weak defensive wings that Manchester United has and he will either score or set up a goal in this match.
The one weakness for AC Milan is that they have a rather slow midfield, so look for Darren Fletcher for Manchester United to have a good match.
Wayne Rooney has been a leader on offense for Man U all season (21 goals) and AC Milan will have to key on him and know where he is at all match.
In Manchester United’s last 10 matches they have scored 26 goals and given up 7 and in AC Milan’s last 10 matches they have scored 20 goals and given up 10.
Jason’s Pick: AC Milan does have better strikers and they do have Pato back AND they have won their last 4 matches against Manchester United. However, I am going against the grain in saying that Man U will come out on top in this match winning by a score of 2-1.