Sep 28, 2010

A Clash of the Titans...

By Bluenine

As Spartak lead 3-0 over Zilina in the closing minutes of the early game at Moscow, we take a quick look at the pick of the day, and what that game could offer... Milan travel to Amsterdam, Manchester United to Valencia, and Bremen travel to San Siro... some tasty games can be expected tonight and tomorrow:

Tuesday, 28 September 2010
Spartak Moscow v MSK Zilina
Ajax v AC Milan
Auxerre v Real Madrid
Basle v Bayern Munich
Braga v Shakhtar Donetsk
Chelsea v Marseille
Partizan Belgrade v Arsenal
Roma v CFR Cluj-Napoca

At Amsterdam Arena

My pick for tonight is Ajax vs Milan, a kind of a homecoming for Ibracadabra. This is a game between two of Europe's historic giants, who have won 11 CL titles between them. These two teams have met in the finals twice in history, so its a European heavyweight fight. However, of late both of these teams haven't done their reputations justice in Europe.

Milan enter this game as favourites. They also have a favourable record agaisnt Ajaax in thiis competition, winning their last 3 encounters. Ajax have actually just won one of their last 13 European matches against Italian clubs. Milan have also started this years competition confidently, winning their first game against Auxerre 2-0. New stars, Ibrahimovic & Robinho are both in the starting line up, Allegri has not surprisingly left Ronaldinho onthe bench. I am a bit surprised to see Gattuso start over Boateng, I guess its about rotation. Best news for rossoneri fans though is that both Nesta & Thiago are good to start - that is key for Milan, and their defence looks very shaky without either of them. Starting formation:

Zambrotta, Nesta, Thiago Silva, Antonini;
Gattuso, Pirlo, Flamini;
Robinho, Ibrahimovic

However, Milan have a poor recengt track record away at Europe, and Ajax need to take advantage. These home points could prove vital for their quest to qualify from this group of death. They welcome back Suarez, who was absent against Real, and expectedly start an attacking line up:

Van Der Wiel, Vertonghen, Alderweireld, Anita;
Enoh, S De Jong, De Zeeuw;
Suarez, El Hamdaoui, Emanuelson

Personally, I believe this is going to be a key contest and the result will have a huge impact in deciding this group. Moreover, I expect Ajax to play an open game, and we all have seen Milan struggle against good counter attacking teams. Will Nesta+Thiago be able to contain that? That is a key battle.

Prediction - Ibra will win this one for Milan:

Ajax 1-2 Milan

There are some really interesting games tomorrow, but more on that later... Tonight's games are about to start!

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