AC Milan welcome Tottenham to the San Siro Stadium for this last 16 first leg Champions League tie. Both sides have been struggling a bit domestically and managers Stefano Pioli and Antonio Conte have found themselves under pressure. An extended run in the Champions League would be very beneficial for either side.
As always, I’ve collated the stats for tonight’s showdown in order to give you an increased chance of landing a winning bet builder. If you’re looking to make the most of the numbers below, then make sure to check out my Stats Pack Guide.
First Choice Milan keeper Mike Maignan has been out of action for several months although is nearing a return soon. Tatarusanu keeps the gloves for now.
Centre back Tomori is an injury doubt and might not feature, but is in contention. Midfielder Ismael Bennacer is unlikely to play though which means Rade Krunic will probably maintain his place in the side.
Spurs are also down to their backup keeper with Hugo Lloris confirmed out injured. Fraser Forster is going to be in between the sticks for them here. Spurs have a massive midfield problem with Pierre Emile Hojbjerg ruled out through suspension and Rodrigo Bentancur’s season is completely over after an ACL tear.
Yves Bissouma is also injured for Spurs after undergoing ankle surgery. The likes of Sarr and Skipp are going to have to come into the side for this fixture now and they are significantly weakened in the middle of the park.
AC Milan average 1.73 goals per game and 1.36 against. Their xG and xGA metrics correlate very closely to these numbers. Milan average 14.59 shots per match with 4.77 on target. They only concede 3.36 SOT in each fixture which is relatively impressive.
Corners have been low in Milan games. They only average 4.14 themselves with 4.45 against. This is something to watch out for because their wide players often cut inside and don’t look to stretch the field. Cards have been astronomically high in AC Milan games with 2.82 for and 3.32 against. Cards do tend to flow more readily in Serie A, but this still shows their games can regularly flare up.
Tottenham average 1.83 goals per game and 1.52 against. Their fixtures have been high scoring. Their xG and xGA numbers are also very high and they are not operating at a defensive level which will satisfy manager Antonio Conte. Spurs have conceded a massive 14.22 shots per game which is simply too many. They have a good SOT conversion rate of 5.09 from 13.57 shots themselves.
Spurs average nearly 6 corners per match and they concede 4.48. Cards have been high in their fixtures which isn’t surprising for an Antonio Conte led side. Tottenham have obtained 2.18 cards in each future, whilst their opponents have 2.30.
Player Shots and Shots on Target
Both Olivier Giroud and Rafael Leao average over 3.50 shots per 90 mins. Neither are especially accurate though and Leao actually averages less than one SOT in each game.
Divock Origi has the most SOT per 90 mins (1.27) out of anyone on this list but is more likely to be unleashed off the bench. Attacking midfielder Brahim Diaz fires in nearly two shots per 90 mins with 0.69 on target.
Harry Kane unsurprisingly leads Spurs with attempts at 3.55 per 90 mins. He has a strong accuracy ratio close to the 50% mark at 1.58 SOT.
The trio of Son, Richarlison and Sessegnon all average two shots or more per 90 mins. Son is another who has decent accuracy and fires 1.30 SOT. Both Kulusevski and Emerson are usually good for at least one shot in each match, but neither are especially accurate.
Player Goals and Assists
The two leading scorers for AC Milan are Rafael Leao and Olivier Giroud with 8 and 7 goals respectively. They also lead the team for assists with 5 and 4. Brahim Diaz has four goals and three assists. That trio of attackers are absolutely key for Milan.
Sandro Tonali has three assists for the club in the Champions League this season and is worth watching as a deep-lying playmaker threat.
Harry Kane leads the way for the North London outfit with 17 goals. He only has one assist which is a little bit surprising. Son has four goals and three assists.
The leading assist provider for Spurs on this list is Kulusevski with five. In the Champions League this season, Croatian winger Ivan Perisic leads the team in assists with three.
AC Milan average 55% possession and considering they are at home here then the expectation is that they will at least match that or have close to 60% of the ball in this game. Several players average over 50 passes per 90 mins with centre backs Simon Kjaer, Pierre Kalulu and/or Tomori perhaps the most likely to have a high mark in this game.
The key is working out who will stay on the pitch for the longest period. Both Tonali and Krunic could see plenty of the ball in midfield.
Tottenham only average 51% possession and it would be a surprise if they had that much of the ball here at the San Siro. Conte will likely adopt a counter-attacking system and sit back.
Three players all average over 60 passes per 90 mins for Spurs, with centre back Eric Dier the obvious candidate to handle the ball most.
AC Milan Cards
The Italian outfit average a high number of cards. Frenchman Olivier Giroud is a very physical striker and has seven cards in addition to fouling an average of 1.47 times per 90 mins. Rafael Leao is another who has seven cards and can get hot-headed. He only fouls 0.77 times per 90 mins but is a candidate to put in a silly challenge at some stage. T
he midfield duo of Tonali and now potentially Krunic are also strong candidates to go in the book and produce fouls, along with left back Theo Hernandez.
Richarlison is unlikely to start but when on the field he is likely to draw fouls and potentially cards. He is a skillful player and also the type who can wind up opponents with his gimmicks and tricks.
Sarr should come into the side in midfield and is fouled on average 2 times per 90 mins. Upfront and in attack both Harry Kane and Son are obvious candidates to cause AC Milan problems. Right wing back Emerson is fouled 1.80 times per 90 mins and his matchup with Theo Hernandez looks interesting.
Match-Ups to watch
Olivier Giroud vs Eric Dier
Sandro Tonali vs Pape Matar Sarr
Theo Hernandez vs Emerson Royal
Now that Bentacur and Bissouma are injured the obvious candidate for cards is Argentinian defender Cristian Romero. He will have to handle Olivier Giroud. The likes of Skipp and Sarr are going to be engaging in some tough midfield battles, of which they are second favourites for so might have to resort to fouling.
Harry Kane is a very physical and clever player who regularly draws fouls from defenders or deep lying midfielders. However, he is no saint himself and is probably good for committing at least one foul in this match, if not more.
Theo Hernandez is a major candidate to draw fouls and cards. The Frenchman is a very attacking left wing back and will regularly venture forward, averaging 2.57 dribbles per 90 mins.
Diaz is a skillful playmaker who sits in the hole and can be elusive. Sarr is likely to be tasked with him and could be in for a long night. Right winger Saelemaekers has a high dribbling rate and could also cause problems.
Match-Ups to watch
Pape Matar Sarr vs Brahim Diaz
Emerson Royal vs Theo Hernandez
Cristian Romero vs Olivier Giroud
My Bet Builder Picks of the Pack
Here’s a few bet builder selections that caught my eye whilst putting the stats together. You can load them into your Betfair betslip at 4/1 below.
AC Milan vs Tottenham
Milan games are averaging 3.09 goals this season. They’ve scored 1.73 and conceded 1.36 P/90.
Tottenham matches are averaging 3.35 goals. They score 1.83, and concede 1.52 P/90.
Milan receive 2.82 cards P/90 domestically with their opponents receiving 3.32 P/90.
Tottenham average 2.18 cards P/90, and 2.30 cards against P/90.
Referee Sandro Scharer averages 3.25 cards per game in the Champions League. He brandishes over 7 per game domestically.
Pape Sarr averages 2.00 fouls P/90.
He’ll be up against Brahim Diaz and Rade Krunic, who are fouled 2.17 and 1.13 times P/90 respectively.
Rade Krunic averages 30 passes P/90. He accumulated 53 passes in his last midfield outing.
Milan average 55% possession to Tottenham’s 51%.