Real Madrid vs. AC Milan, Champions League, Estadio Santiago Bernabeu, Madrid Spain 2:45 PM EST Wednesday October 21, 2009
By Jason Green of Predictem.com
In a Champions League match on Wednesday night in Madrid two soccer powerhouses clash. Real Madrid had a ton of press in the off-season with all of their big name signings and it has paid off since they trail Barcelona by only one point in La Liga and they are currently atop Group C in the Champions League with 6 points in 2 games (2 wins). However, things are not all rosy in the Spanish capital, as Real’s defense has struggled in their last 2 league matches and big gun Cristiano Ronaldo is injured and out for this match.
AC Milan has not started the season well, both in Italy Serie A and Champions league, to say the least. They currently are only in 8th place in Serie A and they have only scored 6 goals, while giving up 8, in league play. In Group C they have 3 points and are in 2nd place, but they should be tied with Real, as in their last match they lost at home to FC Zurich, which was a huge upset. However, they may be turning things around, as they recently beat AS Roma in a huge home match and their offense showed signs of life.
Both teams are struggling on defense and even though Real is the big favorite in this match AC Milan does have a chance. If Real wins this game they can, pretty much, assure themselves a spot in the knockout phase. If AC Milan wins they can get back in the group race, but if they lose it will be hard to make it out of the group.
Real is the big home favorite in this match with betting odds posted at 1.40 with AC Milan the big away favorites posted at 6.50 with a draw at 4.00.
Real Madrid Recent Form:
10/17/2009 Real Madrid 4 Real Valladolid 2 (La Liga)
10/4/2009 Sevilla 2 Real Madrid 1 (La Liga)
9/30/2009 Real Madrid 3 Marseille 0 (Champions League)
9/26/2009 Real Madrid 3 Tenerife 0 (La Liga)
9/23/2009 Villarreal 0 Real Madrid 2 (La Liga)
AC Milan Recent Form:
10/18/2009 AC Milan 2 AS Roma 1 (Serie A)
10/4/2009 Atalanta 1 AC Milan 1 (Serie A)
9/30/2009 AC Milan 0 FC Zurich 1 (Champions League)
9/27/2009 AC Milan 0 Bari 0 (Serie A)
9/23/2009 Udinese 1 AC Milan 0 (Serie A)
Real Madrid has quite a few injuries, as besides Cristiano Ronaldo the other players that are out are Ruud van Nistelrooy, Fernando Gago, Alvaro Arbeloa and Christoph Metzelder. Luckily Real is stacked and they still have many solid players that can step in and contribute.
AC Milan’s Marco Storari is out for this match with a muscle injury and Oguchi Onyewu, Davide Di Gennaro and Daniele Bonera are all still out with injuries that will keep them off the field for quite some time. Gennaro Gattuso is recovering from an injury and he is not match fit and will not play in this big clash, but Marco Borriello is back and can play in this match.
How will Kaka play in this match against his former club? He has not been playing great in La Liga this season, but he will know the Milan defense and that may give him an edge in the midfield.
Ronaldinho is starting to come around and look like the player he was a few years back when he was considered the best player in the world. He played great in Milan’s recent win over AS Roma and Milan will need him to provide some magic around the net in this match.
Pato and Ronaldinho form a formidable Brazilian strikers duo and they may have turned the corner in their last few matches after starting the season ice cold.
Sergio Ramos and Marcelo have been the main culprits for the struggling defense of Real and they have to play solid in this match against an AC Milan squad that is starting to play with some confidence.
Alessandro Nesta and Thiago Silva will have a tall task in this game to thwart the high scoring Real squad that has averaged 3 goals per match in La Liga this season. Sure, they do not have to worry about Cristiano Ronaldo, but Kaka, Karim Benzima, and Xabi Alonso are all big name starts, who are no strangers at finding the back of the net often.
AC Milan will come out attacking in this match, so they will have to be wary of a Real counter attack.
Jason’s Pick: I think that the AC Milan has turned the corner and they should play better for the rest of the season, but Real has too many weapons even though they are minus their big one. I see Real winning by a score of 2-1.