Europa League Round of 16 • AC Milan-SK Slavia Praha Preview: Battle Plan

Thursday at the San Siro, Milan continue their quest for Europa League glory by hosting an in form SK Slavia Praha. Having finally won a favorable draw after the Champions League Group of Death this season, Milan could have faced either German Bundesliga leaders Bayer Leverkusen or the second place team in the Czech First League, SK Slavia Praha. While this will still be a difficult match, Milan do have a better chance at advancing to the next round if they can maintain focus and play their game against the Czech side. It will all depend on whether or not Milan can successfully execute the battle plan.

Our warriors ready for European battle.

Slavia Praha won their Europa League group with only one loss, conceding only four goals and scoring 17. They also have only one loss in the Czech league all season, too. Their most recent match was the Prague Derby on Sunday, which ended in a 0-0 drawThat was actually their second Derby last week, having lost 3-2 to rivals Sparta Praha in the Czech Cup Quarterfinal on Wednesday. For Sunday's match, Slavia's manager, Jindřich Trpišovský, lined up: Staněk, Křišťan, Holeš, Zima; Douděra,Masopust, Dorley, Bořil; Jurečka, Chytil, and Schranz. Of his Europa League squadTrpišovský is missing midfielder Christos Zafeiris, but should have everyone else available.

Slavia have had no shortage of goals in the Europa League, including putting 2 past Roma.

Pioli is also only missing one player from his Europa League squad, Pobega. Although Tomori, Kalulu, and Thiaw are still recovering from their longterm injuries, and at least Tomori and Kalulu are unlikely to start. With Florenzi and Leão both set to serve suspensions for card accumulation this Sunday, they will undoubtedly both start this one. I also expect Pioli to start a strong starting 11, as the Europa League is Milan's last chance for a trophy this season.

Our three defenders are finally back from injury and regaining form.

Milan come into his match from a spicy referee-dominated 1-0 win over Lazio last Friday, which, although very strange, should help give the players confidence. They qualified for this round despite losing their second leg of the Europa League playoffs to 3-2 to Rennes last month. However, this is the kind of match Pioli either gets absolutely perfect, or the players completely choke and make foolish mistakes. There is rarely any inbetween. Pioli spoke of the importance of starting strong and the value of the fans' support by playing at San Siro. Let's hope that the players can do that, and that each and every one of them are focused, ready, and stick to the battle plan.

This post inspired by the music of The Primitive's "Crash"

Our next match is 
Europa League Round of 16
AC Milan vs SK Slavia Praha
Thursday, March 7 • 21:00 CET (3pm EST)
In the U.S., you can use a VPN to access a Europa League provider elsewhere*
(*one that does not also sponsor Inter's kits)
Europa League Round of 16 • AC Milan-SK Slavia Praha Preview: Battle Plan Europa League Round of 16 • AC Milan-SK Slavia Praha Preview: Battle Plan Reviewed by Elaine on 1:15 AM Rating: 5
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