Dinamo Zagreb vs Milan : Match preview and possible lineups

Last Updated on 23/10/2022 by

Tuesday night’s Champions League match between AC Milan and Dinamo Zagreb takes place at Stadion Maksimir. Both teams are in desperate need of points to keep themselves in the running for a spot in the knockout round.

The Italian opponents’ lone victory thus far came in the rematch at San Siro last month, while the Croatian champions have earned just one point from their last three Group E contests.

pic @milan twitter

Milan is tied with their penultimate opponent Dinamo Zagreb at the bottom of the standings after two humiliating losses to the current group leaders Chelsea, for which they allowed five goals while scoring none.

The Rossoneri suffered a 2-0 loss at Stamford Bridge on the fourth matchday of the Champions League, leaving them three points behind Graham Potter’s team and two behind second-placed RB Salzburg. Former Chelsea defender Fikayo Tomori’s dismissal in the 18th minute proved to be a crucial turning point.

Stefano Pioli, Milan’s head coach, may have accomplished great things in Serie A over the past two years, culminating in Milan winning its first Scudetto in a decade, but he has now won just two of ten games at the top level of Europe, losing six times.

After defeating Lombardy neighbours Monza to win their fourth straight domestic match and keep pace with league leaders Napoli, Pioli’s team must now carry that momentum to the international stage or risk exiting the group stage once more.

If Milan loses on Tuesday by three goals or more, or loses by any margin and Salzburg defeats Chelsea, they will not be able to advance to the round of 16. However, if they picked up six points from their final two games, they would have a strong chance of moving on or at the very least earning a ticket to the Europa League.

The seven-time European champions have won all five of their previous meetings with their hosts, scoring three goals on four of those occasions, so the Rossoneri are confident going into the Croatian capital.

Last month, Dinamo faced their Italian rivals in the first meeting between the clubs in 22 years, fresh off of their historic victory over Chelsea on the opening night of Group E at Stadion Maksimir.

The runaway HNL leaders only have Mislav Orsic’s second-half goal to show for their efforts despite having lost just one of their last five home Champions League games, including a draw with Salzburg last time out. Instead, they were defeated 3-1 in Milan.

Given that they had the better chances in Zagreb, Ante Cacic’s team may have been entitled to all three points from their match with the Austrian champions. A goal from Robert Ljubicic just before halftime nearly set up Petar Bockaj’s 25-yard free kick in the final seconds of the game.

Dinamo must win their final home game if they want to stay in Europe until after the World Cup because if they lose and Chelsea wins, they won’t be able to advance to the round of 16.

Following a 1-1 draw with closest rivals Hajduk Split on Friday, the Blues are eight points ahead in the HNL, continuing their domestic dominance after winning their fourth consecutive Croatian championship last season. They now aim to use this form, like Milan did, in the crucible that is the Champions League.

Stefano Pioli still decided to make seven changes to his team before their victory over Monza despite having a rare week of training at Milanello. As a result, his injury-plagued team should travel to Croatia with relatively fresh legs.

The Milan manager will have to reorganise his squad, though, as Fikayo Tomori has been suspended after receiving a red card against Chelsea, and Brahim Diaz has been forced to leave the team after scoring twice over the weekend.

Simon Kjaer, who recently made a full recovery from an injury, should start at centre back, partnered by either Matteo Gabbia or Pierre Kalulu. The latter could shift right and Sergino Dest, who was forced off on Saturday due to an injury, would be dropped in Davide Calabria’s ongoing absence.

Despite Divock Origi scoring on his postponed full debut, Olivier Giroud returns from a break to captain the front line, with Rafael Leao as his partner. First-choice goalkeeper Mike Maignan, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, and Alexis Saelemaekers are all still out injured.

Ante Cacic, the coach of Dinamo, selected a solid starting lineup for their top-of-the-table match against Hajduk Split, though Luka Ivanusec, who appeared only as a substitute on Friday, is likely to be called back. Martin Baturina, a promising young player, may now be relegated to the sidelines.

A three-man central defence is another option for the hosts, whose seasoned captain Arijan Ademi anchors the midfield. Mislav Orsic, the team’s top scorer in European play with 19 goals, attacks alongside Bruno Petkovic.

Dinamo Zagreb possible starting lineup:
Livakovic; Ristovski, Peric, Sutalo; Misic; Moharrami, Arijan Ademi, Ljubicic, Ivanusec; Orsic, Petkovic

AC Milan possible starting lineup:
Tatarusanu; Kalulu, Gabbia, Kjaer, Hernandez; Tonali, Bennacer; Messias, De Ketelaere, Leao; Olivier Giroud

milan vs dinamo previous meetup

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