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Preview: AC Milan vs. Rennes – Prediction, Team News

Preview: AC Milan vs. Rennes – Prediction, Team News

AC Milan will host Rennes for a place in the Round of 16 of the Europa League. The teams square off in a meaningful match for the first time when Champions League losers take on a side that dominated Group F in the fall.

Preview (AC Milan vs. Rennes)

Although Milan had hoped to at least repeat their run to the last four from the previous year. The Italian behemoths dropped into the Europa League after finishing third, behind PSG and Dortmund. There, they will have to win a difficult two-leg match to advance to the round of sixteen. They have improved their final third play since being eliminated from UEFA’s top club competition. More importantly, though, they have developed a clinical edge. In the Champions League group stage, only RB Salzburg scored fewer goals than Milan’s five.

As they welcomed struggling Scudetto holders Napoli to San Siro on Sunday evening, the Rossoneri emerged victorious in a battle between the final two Serie A champions, posting their fourth win in five games. Theo Hernandez, a flying full-back, gave Stefano Pioli’s team the lead midway through the first half against Frosinone. It strengthened their hold on third place. Since then, they have cut the gap to just one point over second-place Juventus. Their city rivals Inter Milan leading the way by eight points. They have scored 20 goals in eight games this year.

Rennes hasn’t won any continental trophies since the 2008 Intertoto Cup, but they’ll be heading to Italy’s second city at their peak this year. Les Rouge et Noirs, who last lost anywhere in their final Europa League group match two months ago, will take on another red-and-black team after winning seven straight games since the new year—seven if a penalty shootout victory over Marseille in the Coupe de France counts. In addition to defeating Sochaux 6-1 to secure a place in the cup quarterfinals, Rennes has also defeated Nice and a rapidly improving Lyon team, as well as edging past Montpellier and Le Havre in recent weeks.

Preview: AC Milan vs. Rennes - Prediction, Team News
Source: Telecom Asia

Team News

Due to an adductor issue, Milan’s captain, David Calabria, was forced off the field during the first half of their victory over Napoli, adding to the team’s defensive troubles. Pierre Kalulu and Fikayo Tomori remain out of the picture, but winger Samu Chukwueze has recently returned from his Nigerian duty, while Marcell Thiaw has returned to the team after missing two months due to a hamstring injury. However, the Dutch midfielder might potentially start again instead of Ismael Bennacer. He is still not fully healthy after missing the Africa Cup of Nations due to an injury.

With nine Europa League knockout-stage matches to his credit, Olivier Giroud has been directly involved in 11 goals upfront. At 37 years and 138 days, he may become the fourth-oldest player to score in the competition’s elimination round. On the other hand, Benjamin Bourigeaud, who scored the game-winning goal against Le Havre the previous game. After being added to the visitors’ Europa League roster, he should assist Martin Terrier and Arnaud Kalimuendo in attack. Additionally, recent additions Azor Matusiwa and Alide Seidu might play as well. The two most significant absences for Julien Stephan are Swiss midfielder Fabian Rieder and influential playmaker Enzo Le Fee.

AC Milan 1-1 Rennes 

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