AC Milan vs Udinese Preview: Hosts starting race for Champions League spots
Photo by Nicolò Campo via Getty Images

AC Milan vs Udinese Preview: Hosts starting race for Champions League spots

AC Milan looks to make Champions League this season with new coach Marco Giampaolo leading the way, while Udinese will play in hope of not being relegated. 

jerry85
Jerry Mancini

AC Milan made changes to their club this past summer acquiring new coach and Sporting Director Marco Giampaolo and Frederic Massara. In 2018-2019 Milan finished in 5th, narrowly missing out on the final spot for Champions League.

Both teams look to start on a positive note

In addition, the club has also agreed with UEFA to be excluded from Europa League, as their punishment for not complying with Financial Fair Play regulations. In doing so, the team is committed to focusing on returning to Champions League. Milan has been busy in the transfer market, acquiring players such as Rafael Leao, Ismael Bennacer and Theo Hernandez. Starting the season with a positive start will be important when Milan takes the field against Udinese.

Udinese didn’t have quite the productive season last year finishing near the middle of the standings.  The club hasn’t done much in the summer in hopes of improving the club as their focus has been more towards English Premier League club Watford. It will be a challenging season for second year coach Igor Tudor which saw keys players such as Alex Meret, Orestis Karnezis and Jakub Jankto all leaving for new clubs. Doing very little to replace their talent, it seems Udinese might have a hard season ahead of them. The coach will need to come prepared Sunday against a team determined to make Champions League. For Udinese it means avoiding relegation this season.

Injuries and Suspensions

AC Milan

Unavailable: Caldara and Hernandez Doubtful: Leao

Udinese

Unavailable: De Maio Doubtful: Ter Avest, Pezzella

Predicted Line-Up

AC Milan (4-3-3): G. Donnarumma; Calabria, Musacchio, Romagnoli, Rodriguez; Kessie, Biglia, Paqueta; Suso, Piatek, Samu Castillejo

Udinese: (3-5-2): Musso; Opoku, Troost-Ekong, Samir; Larsen, Fofana, Jajalo, Mandragora, Pussetto; De Paul, Lasagna

Key Clash

Marco Giampaolo will be making his team debut with the club as the 4-3-1-2 formation will be put to the test. Although he had previously coached Sampdoria and Empoli, this is Giampaolo’s first big club as coach. With his style of coaching, the squad should be more organized and tactical. It will be interesting to see how the squad will adjust in their first game.

On the other hand, Igor Tudor has a tough match ahead of him. With the club doing very little this summer to assist the coach, it will be a tough match versus AC Milan. The coach, who prefers the 3-5-2 formation, will have returning players such as Kevin Lasanga and Rodrigo De Paul at his services. The coach is known to be conservative and very defensive-minded so an approach of taking fewer risks may be what the coach chooses to do.

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