Tottenham Hotspur lost the first and road leg of their UEFA Champions League round of 16 tie with AC Milan, 1-0, but with manager Antonio Conte now returning to the touchline, they will like their chances of turning it around. Conte took a leave of absence, for the purpose of undergoing gall bladder surgery, and then returned for one match a blow out loss to Leicester City.
After that disastrous result, he went back to his native Italy for some required recuperation, and his assistant, Cristian Stellini, filled in quite admirably and delivered results.
Tottenham Hotspur vs AC Milan UEFA Champions League Knockout Round FYIs
Aggregate: AC Milan leads 1-0
Kickoff: Wed. March 8, 8pm, Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, London, UK
Transatlantic Passage: How the Premier League Redefined Soccer in America: LINK
Tottenham Starting XI Prediction: go here
Google Result Probability: Tottenham win 49% Extra Time 27% AC Milan win 24%
Team News for Both Sides
Obviously Conte leads the way when it comes to team news items here, but the gaffer will still have to field a lineup that does not include his still unavailable long-term injury absentees: Ryan Sessegnon, Hugo Lloris, Yves Bissouma and Rodrigo Bentancur. And on the disciplinary front, you have a de facto swap of sorts going on here. Eric Dier is suspended here after getting booked with his third yellow in the first leg/.
However, Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg, who was suspended for the first leg, is back eligible again.
Shifting over to Milan, No. 1 Mike Maigan will be back in between the sticks, after having missed out on the first leg, due to injury. Striker supremo and polarizing figure (to say the least) Zlatan Ibrahimovic finally returned to action this weekend, after a long injury layoff. However, he wasn’t registered for the UCL roster, so he cannot feature here. Maybe next year?
“If I feel like I feel today, I can continue to play for a few more years still, not just next year,” Ibrahimovi? said. “The truth is that up until three weeks ago, the feelings weren’t positive. Then something happened and I’ve done more in three weeks than in the past eight months.”
Finally, the lone goal-scorer of the first leg, Brahim Diaz is a doubt here after having suffered a knee sprain. He faces a late assessment on matchday.
Paul M. Banks is the owner/manager of The Sports Bank. He’s also the author of “Transatlantic Passage: How the English Premier League Redefined Soccer in America,” and “No, I Can’t Get You Free Tickets: Lessons Learned From a Life in the Sports Media Industry.”
He’s written for numerous publications, including the New York Daily News, Sports Illustrated and the Chicago Tribune. He regularly appears on NTD News and WGN News Now. Follow the website on Twitter and Instagram.
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