FAN ARTICLE by Ashraf Siddiqui.
Bojan out injured: I suppose that’s good news, often these ex-players, especially ones who didn’t have a great time at Milan, have a tendency to come back and haunt us. Although, after he limped off injured, Ajax beat Go Ahead Eagles, 6-0!
Ajax are similar to PSV: fast/mobile attacking side with most players in 19-23 age range. Christian Poulsen at 33 is the most experienced player in the squad. Defence-wise they seem weaker than PSV. They seemed to be in all sorts of trouble against PSV last week (PSV won 4-0) and even against Go Ahead Eagles, when under attack defence twisted out of shape.
They like to use wingers. Viktor Fischer (7) on the left with Mike van der Hoorn (6), the overlapping left back. And on the right they have Lesley de Sa (34). They are not exceptionally fast like Navas/Bale/Walcott but fast and tricky enough to cause us problems if we are not careful.
Other players to watch out for are
– Lerian Duarte (8), plays centrally and makes runs into the box.
– Kolbeinn Sigthórsson (9) came on for Bojan, looked clinical and eager to shoot even from distance.
Overall: Milan has the upper hand in terms of experience and talent. However, Milan cannot afford to take it easy. Amsterdam Arena has never been an easy place for us, even when we had far better teams.
Key points for Milan
- As mentioned, their defence isn’t that remarkable, so we need capitalise on that. We need to attack their defence and put them under pressure and they will crack. Players who are capable of running at their defence need to do so. This needs to be done from the starting whistle; not after we have gone a goal down!
- Neutralize their wing play:
- Our left backs and right backs have to be alert and need midfield partners to help them double up during defence.
- If they like to attack down the wings then that means they are also left exposed on the wings if faced with quick counter attacks.
- Have a plan to deal with their key players like Duarte and Sigthórsson. And generally have a plan on marking players and picking up players making a run into the box.