Preview: Olympique de Marseille – AC Milan

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The Italian giants could have some troubles in winning the match against Marseille, onTuesday night, at the greatest stage of all – the UEFA Champions League

The Stade Velodrome will surely be very crowded as Ligue 1 runner-ups, Olympique de Marseille will face the seven-times-Champions League-winners – AC Milan, who are coming off to this match with poor start to the season.

Marseille finished second in the first division of the French League, and after qualified to the group stage in the third time, and this time, after two early failures in the group stage, ‘OM’ will try to overpower Milan, Real Madrid and FC Zurich all the way to the top 16.

Last season the French side, they group with Liverpool, Atletico Madrid and PSV Eindhoven. The Spanish and the English teams well possessed on the first and the second places of the group and left Marseille with 8 points behind Atletico.

It not seems too easy for Marseille this year whatsoever – OM have been grouped with two of the most successful clubs in the European stages: Real Madrid and AC Milan. However, if that not enough, Didier Deschamps’s men will have more competition from Swiss champions – Zurich.

The French opened the league better than Milan, with three good-play wins, and two understandable draws with Bordeaux and Rennes, comfortably seating in the top four, only two points from first place after five rounds.

The record against Italian opponents is fairly fine – three wins and a draw in their past four fixtures against Serie A clubs. Against Milan however, the team managed a win in the last time the sides met, by a 1-0 score line.

‘DD’ will go up without Bakari Kone, who’s suffering from a knee problem, while Garry Bocaly has recently strained his thigh. However, the former Juventus coach can have some rest, since Lucho Gonzalez is ready to play again.

“They are a great team with great players,” claims Deschamps, who spoke to the official site of Marseille. “Many people are fooled by the 4-0 [loss] against Inter but I have seen and reviewed that game,” he added.

Deschamps wears Juventus jacket but this time the French outfit is on his body

The seven times Champions League winners, the second best team in Europe and in the history of football – AC Milan. The Rossoneri will play the first match in the Champions League away. Against a tough-team like Marseille – everything is possible.

“We have been out of it for a year, but the Champions League is still our habitat,” Milan vice president Adriano Galliani told reporters at the Malpensa Airport. “I hope that tradition will help us."

The Champions League is Milan habitat says Galliani, and maybe he’s right, as last year, when Milan took place in the UEFA Cup, the results disappointed, as Juventus (and former Werder Bremen) Diego, helped his former side to seduce them in the top 16 stage.

Now, the Italian most giant club in Europe, return to the race for the most desirable cup for teams, as they will face Marseille on the opening round. The Diavolo haven’t met with a defeat in the opening round of the CL since 1996 when they were defeated by Porto 3-2 at San Siro.

Despite this tough, Milan have won only three matches out of ten in Europe in the recent years. Milan won the 2007 Champions League, with no the best season in the Serie A, somewhat like now. However, the key players are now all gone.

Former Milan ace Kaka brought Milan the 2007 Champions League, with an important goal against Manchester United in the semi-final of this tournament. Paolo Maldini was a part of FIVE Champions League titles, while Carlo Ancelotti brought Milan to two finals.

Now? Now we have Ronaldinho instead of Kaka, the Brazilian is just not good, doesn’t function well whatsoever, and the fans gives more in the match than he does. There is no and there will no any replacement for Maldini, while Leonardo need to prove himself in the toughest stage.

Leonardo| Feels the pressure

Leonardo could not choose another stage to be tested in, as he need to show if he has what it takes to be a great coach, because the experience is not as important here as it in the league.

The Rossoneri side can’t play with a several of injured players, as two times Champions League winner Gennaro Gattuso is suffering from an injury following Inter match, while Marco Borriello, Davide Di Gennaro and Christian Abbiati out of action and Daniele Bonera was not called up.

Leonardo is likely to play with Filippo Inzaghi and Alexandre Pato up front, as according to reports, Ronaldinho, Huntelaar & Jankulovski are all be benched during the match, while Massimo Oddo likely to replace Janku in the opposite role.

FORM GUIDE

Marseille
September 12 v Le Mans (A) – WON 2-1 (Ligue 1)
August 30 v Bordeaux (H) – DREW 0-0 (Ligue 1)
August 22 v Rennes (A) – DREW 1-1 (Ligue 1)
August 16 v Lille (H) – WON 1-0 (Ligue 1)
August 8 v Grenoble (A) – WON 2-0 (Ligue 1)

Milan
September 12 v Livorno (A) – DREW 0-0 (Serie A)
August 29 v Inter (H) – LOST 4-0 (Serie A)
August 22 v Siena (A) – WON 2-1 (Serie A)
August 17 v Juventus (H) – DREW 1-1 (Trofeo Berlusconi)
August 8 v Benfica (A) – DREW 1-1 (Friendly)

POSSIBLE FORMATIONS

Marseille

Possible Starting XI – (4-3-3): Mandanda; Bonnart, Diawara, Heinze, Taiwo; Gonzalez, Mbia, Cheyrou; Ben Arfa, Brandao, Niang.

AC Milan

Possible Starting XI – (4-3-1-2): Storari; Zambrotta, Nesta, Thiago Silva, Jankulovski; Flamini, Pirlo, Ambrosini; Ronaldinho; Pato, Huntelaar.

PREDICTION

A lose is not welcome at all, but a draw is most likely, as Milan and Leonardo still need to get use to the many matches now. However, Milan can overpower OM on Tuesday night.

Olympique de Marseille 1 – AC Milan 1

By Meytar Zeevi, Rossoneri Blog

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snirz

Hard match, but Milan can win this one. Natural habitat right. Milan in 1-0