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Spurs vs AC Milan – Analysis, Prediction, Team News

Wednesday 8th March 2023
20:00 GMT
Tottenham Hotspur Stadium

As part of our Champions League predictions, we preview the second leg of Spurs and AC Milan’s Champions League tie. Milan hold a 1-0 lead, and Spurs are in indifferent form – can the Italians hold on to reach the quarter-finals? Read on with our Spurs vs AC Milan prediction.


AC Milan

1-0 (A)


2-1 (A)


1-1 (H)


3-2 (H)


0-0 (A)

AC Milan


1-0 (H)


4-0 (H)

Dinamo Zagreb

4-0 (A)


2-0 (H)


3-0 (A)

Spurs vs AC Milan Match Preview

Milan were relatively poor on the weekend in Serie A, going down 2-1 to a Fiorentina team that has struggled for consistency all season long. What’s perhaps surprising about that result is that in their previous Serie A outing, Milan defeated Atalanta 2-0 but in the process were able to almost entirely shut them out of the game. Atalanta’s 0 shots on target and 0.12 xG were both functions of just how comfortable Pioli’s men were during this encounter. The defeat against Fiorentina saw Milan drop to fifth on account of Lazio and Roma both picking up victories. Champions League qualification for next season remains in sight, however, last season’s Scudetto winners won’t find it easy going.

In the first leg of this Champions League round of 16 tie against Spurs, AC Milan’s victory over Spurs was comfortable for the most part. Possession was even – 49% for Milan, 51% for Spurs – but Milan generated the clearer opportunities and were perhaps unfortunate not to be taking a two-goal lead with them to London. Milan were extremely well organised defensively, and limited Spurs to a smattering of half chances barring Harry Kane’s effort from close range hitting the crossbar following Son’s effort on goal – but the offside flag went up anyway.

Spurs toiled against Wolves away from home and ultimately couldn’t break them down in succumbing to a disappointing 1-0 defeat. For much of the match, there was only one team in the game as Spurs hit the crossbar twice. However, unfortunately for Conte’s men, they failed to capitalise upon their superiority. Wolves grew into the match in the second half and subsequently turned the match on its head through substitute Adama Traore. That defeat, coupled with Liverpool’s demolition of Manchester United has reduced the gap to three points, with Liverpool also having a game in hand.

Spurs will be disappointed that they laboured to create chances against Milan and, in the end, suffered a deserved 1-0 defeat. The silver lining for Conte’s men is that it was just a 1-0 away defeat, which in the context of a two-legged Champions League tie particularly now that the away goals rule has been scrapped is hardly an insurmountable obstacle. Spurs will be hoping that the solidity they’ve shown against Man City, West Ham and Chelsea at home recently can serve as a platform to enable them to get back into the tie.

Team News

Injuries and Suspensions


Might Not Play:

Will Not Play: Bentancur, Bissouma, Dier, Lloris, Sessegnon

AC Milan:

Might Not Play:

Will Not Play: Bennacer, Calabria, Florenzi, Ibrahimovic

Spurs vs AC Milan Lineups (Predicted)

Spurs (3-4-3): Forster; Davies, Dier, Sanchez; Perisic, Bentancur, Hojbjerg, Emerson Royal; Son, Kane, Kulusevski

AC Milan (3-4-2-1): Maignan; Kalulu, Tomori, Thiaw; Hernandez, Tonali, Bennacer, Messias; Leao, Diaz; Giroud

Spurs vs AC Milan Lineup
AC Milan vs Spurs Lineup

Spurs vs AC Milan Analysis

Spurs Need to Be More Positive in Possession

While Spurs lost 1-0 to Wolves in the Premier League on the weekend after failing to take their chances as we alluded to earlier, the fact that they created clear opportunities and were rather unfortunate not to profit from them could bode well for them here – provided they’re brave enough to take the game to AC Milan. It’s perhaps understandable that an element of caution was exercised in the San Siro against a side that, although inconsistent, is still largely intact from their Serie A winning campaign last season. The problem for Spurs is that Milan have demonstrated their threat in transition to this Spurs team who are still light in central midfield following injuries to Bentancur and Bissouma

Therefore, Spurs’ chances of winning the tie or even merely taking it to extra-time rest upon their ability to break down AC Milan. Generally speaking, Spurs are at their best when the roles are reversed, so this could prove to be something of a challenge. While Harry Kane is a creative force, their chances will heavily depend on getting the England man on the ball in dangerous areas of the pitch. This necessitates moving the ball quicker than they managed to in the first leg, with Kane looking to occupy the space between the Milan defence and midfield rather than dropping too deep to supplement the buildup.

AC Milan’s Threat in Transition

We hesitate to say threat on the counter because we don’t anticipate AC Milan employing a low block here, at least not initially. They’ll be looking to get their attacking midfield tandem of Leao and Diaz on the ball at every possible opportunity and for that to happen they need to make decisive forward passes. Attempting to control possession in the middle of the park isn’t a particular strength of this Milan side and they’d be playing into Spurs’ hands if they did so as a result of their considerable attacking threats. If they take the lead in this one, we can foresee Pioli’s side playing in a more reactive manner, challenging Spurs to break them down while breaking at pace at every opportunity.

This ever-present threat also means that Spurs must exercise some patience and restraint at times when looking to open Milan up. It accounts for their relatively low goal threat throughout the opening leg, and when Milan are at their best they present a challenge even for seasoned continental campaigners, such as their dominant 2-0 victory over Atalanta. On the other hand, Milan are somewhat inconsistent, like their hosts, so it’s difficult to gauge how successful they can be at keeping Spurs’ creative threats at bay. Bentancur is a huge miss for Spurs in midfield, and perhaps this area of the pitch could prove to be something of a key battleground for Milan with the return of influential midfielder Bennacer to the starting eleven.

Our Prediction

It’s a cliche, but this game really could go either way. Both sides are rather inconsistent, though Milan were clearly the better team in the first leg. We expect this match to be somewhat different owing to home advantage for Spurs. AC Milan’s away form isn’t especially impressive, and Lazio, Inter and Fiorentina have all defeated Pioli’s side in recent months.

We envisage Spurs being able to take this match to extra time unless Milan manage to put together a significant improvement upon their away showings this season. A problem for Spurs could be a lack of squad depth, which Antonio Conte has complained vocally about this season. Additionally, AC Milan have played one game fewer since their last encounter and appear to have more squad depth, particularly in the middle of the park. As the game wears on, Milan will be better placed to introduce fresh legs and we can see them winning a tight encounter in extra time.

Spurs 2-2 AC Milan (AET) (2-3 aggregate). Spurs 2-1 90 minutes.

Spurs vs Milan Betting Tip – Spurs (90 Minutes) Odds:


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