Real Madrid vs. AC Milan Champions League Matchday 3 Santiago Bernabu, Madrid, Spain 2:45 PM EST Tuesday October 19, 2010
by Jason Green of Predictem.com
Match Odds: AC Milan 4.50 / Real Madrid 1.75 / Draw 3.40
Over/Under: 2.5 goals
Moneyline: AC Milan +425 / Real Madrid -153 / Draw 2.50
Note: This article was written Friday and both teams play Saturday 10/16 in league play so stats and trends may change.
On Tuesday night in the Spanish capital Real Madrid host AC Milan in a Champions League match with first place at stake in Group G. Real Madrid is 2-0 in group play and in first place with 6 points while AC Milan has one win and one draw and sits in second place with 4 points. Real is one of only 2 teams that has yet to drop a point in group play. AC Milan has not been an elite club for the past couple of years and they can help get back to that status by beating Real in Madrid, but that will not happen in this match since Real Madrid is simply too strong.
This match up is one between 2 of the most successful clubs in Europe, as Real Madrid has won 9 continental crowns and AC Milan has won 7.
Real Madrid head coach Jos Mourinho guided Inter Milan to the Champions League title last season and he is off to a good start this season for his new club. The last time these 2 teams played in the Champions League was last season when AC Milan came out on top 3-2.
Both teams should be fresh, but a tad rusty since they have not played for some time with the 2012 European Championship qualifications being held the last couple of weeks.
Real Madrid sits in 3rd place in Spain’s La Liga with 14 points and they only trail first place Valencia by 2 points. Real has yet to lose this season in La Liga (4 wins 2 draws) and they are tied with the most goals in the league (12) and have the best goal-differential (+10). Their defense has been solid, as they have only given up 2 goals in league play and they have not allowed a goal in their 2 Champions League matches.
Real Madrid has not played since October 3rd and in that match they scored 6 goals and even with the time off their offense will click in this match by scoring a couple of goals.
AC Milan is tied for 2nd in Italy Serie A with Napoli and Inter Milan 2 points behind first place Lazio. Their offense has not been dynamic with only 8 goals after 6 matches, but their defense has only giving up 4 goals. The last match for AC Milan was October 2nd.
AC Milan Recent Form:
(AC Milan vs. Chievo 10/16)
10/2/2010 Parma 0 AC Milan 1 (Italy Serie A)
9/28/2010 Ajax 1 AC Milan 1 (Champions League)
9/25/2010 AC Milan 1 Genoa 0 (Italy Serie A)
9/22/2010 Lazio 1 AC Milan 1 (Italy Serie A)
9/18/2010 AC Milan 1 Catania 1 (Italy Serie A)
Real Madrid Recent Form
(Malaga vs. Real Madrid 10/16)
10/3/2010 Real Madrid 6 Deportivo La Corua 1 (La Liga)
9/28/2010 AJ Auxerre 0 Real Madrid 1 (Champions League)
9/25/2010 Levante 0 Real Madrid 1 (La Liga)
9/21/2010 Real Madrid 3 Espanyol 0 (La Liga)
9/18/2010 Real Sociedad 1 Real Madrid 2 (La Liga)
Real Madrid is relatively healthy for this match, but they are still without star MF Kaka, who is out until January recovering from knee surgery.
AC Milan should have F Pato back after he was injured in the last Champions League match and MF Massimo Ambrosini will likely not play in this match due to injury. G Christian Abbiati is also likely out with injury and will be replaced by G Marco Amelia.
Real Madrid G Iker Casillas was one of the heroes for Spain in their World Cup triumph and this season he has 4 clean sheets in La Liga and 2 in the 2 matches in the Champions League. He is playing well, but the rock-solid Real defense deserves most of the credit since Casillas has only had to make 8 saves in La Liga play. Look for the defense to play stellar again against a decent AC Milan offense and add another clean sheet to Casillas’ resume.
The AC Milan trio of Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Pato, and Filippo Inzaghi all have 2 goals this season, but they will struggle to find space against a great Real defense and they will not find the back of the net.
Real Madrid’s superstar Cristiano Ronaldo ranks 2nd in La Liga in goals scored this season (4), but he has yet to score in the Champions League this season. He and F Gonzalo Higuan are a formidable duo up front and they will cause nightmares for an aging AC Milan squad. Look for one or both of them to score in this match.
Jason’s Pick: Real Madrid has won every match this season at home and that trend will continue, as their great defense and solid offense will be too much for AC Milan to handle. I and taking Real Madrid to win 2-0 and the Under 2.5 goal total is also my pick.