Next Wednesday, February 19, 2014 (11:45 AM Pacific, 19:45 GMT), Atlético Madrid will travel to the historical San Siro to measure forces against AC Milan for the UEFA Champions League last 16. The once all-powerful Italian team will start the knockout stage of the competition at home against an Atlético Madrid that is probably enjoying some of the moments of their history by the hand of the Argentinian head coach Diego Simeone.
San Siro’s match will be a special one for AC Milan’s manager, the former Dutch International Clarence Seedorf, as he will make his managerial debut in European competitions. Seedorf won the UEFA Champions League four times with three different clubs as a player; nevertheless, he is now dealing with a completely different reality – his new experience at the dugout. The AC Milan’s glorious times of Dejan Savicevic, Marco Van Basten and Ruud Gullit are long gone and the team is facing some problems at Serie A this term. The Italian side is in the tenth place of table and the quality of their football is somewhat questionable.
The Rossoneri have only managed to grant a place on the knockout phase at the end of the last match of the group stage after a home draw against Ajax.
For next Wednesday’s match, Clarence Seedorf will not be able to count on several players, both due to injury and to suspension. Muntari and Riccardo Montolivo are suspended while Robinho, El Shaarawy, Bryan Cristante and Valter Birsa are all sidelined due to injury.
As for Atlético Madrid, the Spanish team was back to good results last weekend (3-0 against Valladolid) after three abrupt defeats at the hands of Real Madrid (twice) and Almeria. On a European level, Diego Simeone managed to rally the troops and prepared his players for the team’s first UEFA Champions League quarter-finals match since 1997. Atlético Madrid completely dominated their group and not even the hypothetical strong opposition from Zenit St Petersburg, FC Porto and Austria Wien disturbed the Colchoneros’ dominance.
For this UEFA Champions League match, Diego Simeone will not be able to count on the Portuguese experienced midfielder Tiago and on the Brazilian talented left back Filipe Luis, who are sidelined due to injury.
AC Milan vs Atletico Madrid Prediction
Next Wednesday’s match will certainly be more than a simple “battle” between Mario Balotelli and Diego Costa. It will certainly be a match between a Spanish side inspired by an Italian 4-4-2 style mixed with some South American football magic and an AC Milan side that brought in an once dedicated player to take the helm of an adrift vessel on the verge of sinking and that now continues to navigate near the shore, because it is still not ready to face the strength of the sea. This being said, the most likely outcome is 2-1 for Atlético Madrid.
AC Milan vs Atletico Madrid Television
The match will be televised on Fox Soccer Plus (USA), and Sky Sports 3 (UK).