AC Milan-FC Porto Preview: Dragon Seige

Despite impressing in our first two matches, Milan sit dead last in our Champions League group, with zero points. We are hosting FC Porto, who are in third place in Group B with four points from three matches, three of which they took from us. While they absolutely deserved those points in Portugal when we played our worst match of the season, Milan have several players back from injury and a growing mentality after positive performances in the league. All three of our remaining matches in the group stage will be difficult, but this challenge will be more like a dragon siege.

How Milan defend their fortress

Porto proved themselves more than a worthy opponent when we faced them in their dragon's lair. They have also since moved up to first place in Portugal's Primeira Liga, still undefeated with eight wins and two draws. However, they did suffer a 3-1 loss midweek last week in the Taça da Liga (Portuguese League Cup) to the bottom of the league team, Santa Clara. So they are beatable.

On Saturday, they beat midtable Boavista 4-1 to remain unbeaten in the league. For that match, Sérgio Conceicão lined up Diogo Costa; João Mario, Pepe, Marcano, Sanusi; Otávio, Uribe, Vitinha, Luis Díaz; Evanilson, and Taremi. However, Conceicão will be without Wendell, Uribe, and Marcano on Wednesday due to injury.

Dragons may not have as much luck away from their lair

Pioli has actually regained almost half of the players he was missing when we faced the Dragōes just two weeks ago. He will still be without Maignan, Plizzari, Florenzi, Messias, and Rebić due to injury. However, since our last meeting, Theo Hernández, Brahim Díaz, and Bakayoko have all recovered, and Kessié will return from his one match suspension. Ibrahimović and Giroud have both regained full fitness as well. 

Milan's performances dipped recently, particularly averaging eight players per game missing, usually about five starters per match. In Portugal, we also displayed the weakest mentally thus far this season, but that mentality has improved the last couple of matches. This was particularly true at home against a very tough Torino side, where we seem to have removed the shackles of playing at home this past year or two to make San Siro a fortress once again.

Theo Hernández will have a chance to redeem himself, since he can't play Sunday

The timing couldn't be better, as we need to defend the San Siro against a dragon siege. Both teams know each other's strengths and weaknesses now, but Porto don't know what it is like to face a proper Milan team who are defending their fortress. With some help from the fans (who hopefully leave their laser pointers at home,) Milan could slay these dragons and gain our first Champions League points in seven years.

This post inspired by the music of The Prodigy's "Firestarter"

Champions League Group Stage
AC Milan vs. FC Porto
Wednesday, November 3 • 18:45 CET (1:45pm EDT)*
*note the time difference due to European Daylight Saving time ending

AC Milan-FC Porto Preview: Dragon Seige AC Milan-FC Porto Preview: Dragon Seige Reviewed by Elaine on 8:55 AM Rating: 5
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