Tottenham host AC Milan in the UEFA Champions League round-of-16 second leg on Wednesday. Spurs are looking to overturn a 1-0 first-leg scoreline. Milan were deserving winners three weeks ago and limited Conte’s side to 11 shots and 0.44 Expected Goals. The hosts have been in poor form with six losses in 11 matches.
Spurs have been in dreadful form since the World Cup break. Their last 11 matches have seen five wins and six defeats. After a three-match winning run which culminated in a 1-0 home win against Man City, they’ve lost four of their next six matches, all of them on the road. After a 4-1 thrashing at Leicester, they lost 1-0 at AC Milan in the first leg.
They rebounded somewhat with 2-0 home wins against West Ham and Chelsea after both matches were goalless at half-time. A strong XI then lost 1-0 at Sheffield United in the FA Cup, ending hopes of domestic silverware for another season. Last time out, Spurs were beaten 1-0 at Wolves in another impotent performance: 21 shots but 14 outside the box and just 0.72 xG from open play.
Tottenham Team News
Spurs are without Eric Dier in defence due to suspension. Clement Lenglet could play in the heart of the back three again. Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg missed the first leg through but is available again but Rodrigo Bentancur and Yves Bissouma are injured in midfield.
It will be Fraser Forster in goal once again with Huge Lloris injured. Emerson Royal is set to start and Antonio Conte will have to decide between Richarlison and Son on the left wing.
Tottenham will be hugely motivated to turn this tie around and reach a quarter-final. They were toothless at times in Milan (0.44 xG) and they need to throw more men forward in this one.
100% focus is on this match and the Nottingham Forest fixture on Saturday won’t be a distraction.
AC MIlan Form
Going into the first leg, Milan had been in dire form as a seven-match winless run was ended right now. Their backline really suffered after the turn of the year due to injuries as they suffered a 3-0 loss to Inter Milan (Italian Super Cup), a 4-0 thrashing at Lazio, and a 5-2 home loss to Sassuolo.
After a 1-0 loss to Inter in the league, they beat Torino 1-0 and then Spurs 1-0 in a fine defensive performance. Their improved defensive displays continued in a 1-0 win at Monza and then a 2-0 win against Atalanta as Junior Messias scored in both fixtures. Over the weekend, they looked distracted in a 2-1 loss at Fiorentina, being outshot 16-8 with a 1.26 xG difference.
AC Milan Team News
Milan were without number one goalkeeper Mike Maignan for the reverse leg but he has since returned to fitness and will start this match. Ismael Bennacer is another key player who was unavailable three weeks ago but who is fit to start this one.
Brahim Diaz got the winner in the first leg but he has a knee problem and won’t feature. Zlatan Ibrahimovic is fit-again after a knee injury and will be among the subs. Alessandro Florenzi is another returning player to boost Stefano Pioli’s options.
AC Milan Motivation
Milan’s title defence is over and they sit outside the top four in Serie A on goal difference. The full focus will go on the Champions League and trying to reach the quarter-finals or go even further.
Pioli knows a draw gets them through and his side have been using a back five when defending so they may set up quite defensively and use Rafael Leao on the counter attack.
Tottenham have won their last 3 home matches to zero
Spurs have won 4 of their last 6 home UCL matches (15 goals scored)
Spurs’ Kane has 6 goals in his last 7 home matches (Champions League)
Milan have lost 3 of their last 4 away matches (all competitions)
AC Milan have lost 4 of their last 7 away UCL matches (12 goals conceded)
Spurs need to be miles better than the first leg in order to progress. With their strong home form, their individual quality in attack and Milan’s less-than-stellar away form, a home win looks like the best bet.
Best Bet: Tottenham to qualify at 2.40
Alternative Bet: Tottenham to win at 1.95
Multiplier Tip: Tottenham win/draw double chance and under 3.5 goals at 1.71
Goalscorer Combo: Tottenham win and Kane to score anytime at 3.19