Preview: AC Milan vs. Chelsea 

Chelsea will be bidding to make it a quick fire double over AC Milan when they head to San Siro in the Champions League on Tuesday night.

The Blues recorded a 3-0 victory over the Serie A giants at Stamford Bridge last week, which moved them into second spot in Group E, level on points with third-placed Milan, while Red Bull Salzburg top the section.

Match preview

Milan were far from their best at Stamford Bridge last week, with the Serie A outfit struggling to get going for the majority of the contest, and it proved to be a routine win for Chelsea, with Wesley Fofana, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Reece James on the scoresheet.

Stefano Pioli’s side opened their Group E campaign with a 1-1 draw against Salzburg on September 6 before recording a 3-1 victory over Dinamo Zagreb in their second match.

The defeat at Chelsea has seen them drop into third, but it is such a tight group at this stage, with just two points separating Dinamo Zagreb in fourth from Salzburg at the summit.

Milan have not progressed to the knockout round of the Champions League since 2013-14, but they have won this competition on seven occasions, which makes them the second-most successful team in the history of the tournament behind Real Madrid, who lifted their 14th trophy last term.

The Red and Blacks will enter this match off the back of a morale-boosting victory over Juventus in Serie A on Saturday night, with Fikayo Tomori and Brahim Diaz on the scoresheet against a disappointing Old Lady, and the result has left them in fourth position in the table, one point off leaders Atalanta BC.

Chelsea were in a difficult position in the group heading into the clash with Milan last week, but the victory has left them second, and they will fancy their chances of progressing to the knockout round from this position.

The Blues suffered a 1-0 defeat to Dinamo Zagreb in their competition opener on September 6 before playing out a 1-1 draw with Salzburg ahead of their three-goal success over Milan.

Graham Potter’s side have now been victorious in their last three games in all competitions, as they recorded a 3-0 win over Wolverhampton Wanderers in the Premier League on Saturday, with Kai Havertz, Christian Pulisic and Armando Broja on the scoresheet at Stamford Bridge.

Chelsea are now fourth in the table and seemingly heading in the right direction under Potter, who has made a positive impression as head coach since replacing the hugely popular Thomas Tuchel at the helm.

The Blues won the Champions League in 2020-21, beating Manchester City in the final, but they were eliminated by Real Madrid in the quarter-finals of last season’s competition and are not currently viewed as one of the favourites to lift the trophy at the end of the campaign.

Team News

Milan’s injury list is substantial, with Mike Maignan, Alessandro Florenzi, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Junior Messias, Simon Kjaer, Davide Calabria and Alexis Saelemaekers all on the sidelines.

However, the hosts were boosted by the return of Theo Hernandez from injury against Juventus, and the France international will line up at left-back on Tuesday night.

There are not expected to be any major surprises in the Milan XI, with Olivier Giroud set to lead the line with support from Diaz and Rafael Leao, but Tommaso Pobega is likely to drop out of the midfield to allow Rade Krunic to come into the side in a more advanced area.

As for Chelsea, N’Golo Kante remains out with a hamstring problem, while Wesley Fofana is absent with the knee injury that he suffered in the reverse match with Milan.

Hakim Ziyech has also been left out of the squad for the London club due to a fitness issue.

Head coach Potter will make changes from the side that started against Wolves in the league on Saturday, with Mateo Kovacic, Reece James, Raheem Sterling, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Ben Chilwell all set to return.

Ruben Loftus-Cheek should keep hold of his role in central midfield, while Kepa Arrizabalaga is set to continue between the sticks, with the Spaniard enjoying a recent run in the side.

AC Milan possible starting lineup:
Tatarusanu; Dest, Kalulu, Tomori, Hernandez; Bennacer, Tonali; Krunic, Diaz, Leao; Giroud

Chelsea possible starting lineup:
Kepa; Chalobah, T Silva, Koulibaly; James, Loftus-Cheek, Kovacic, Chilwell; Sterling, Aubameyang, Mount

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