Champions League Match Day 3: Porto – Milan

Milan came back from a half time 0-2 deficit and beat Verona to maintain the unbeaten Serie A start. The Champions League has not be as kind. Controversial refereeing has done its part but zero points in two games has marked the return to Europe. In a group featuring Liverpool and Atletico beating Porto is a must. The first of two games versus the Portuguese is away and a handicapped Milan team need something if this European season is to continue beyond the end of the calendar year.

Beating Verona with more than a handful of absentees was a morale and confidence boost. Doing the same in the tournament Milan calls home would add even more.

The list of absentees added another name. Rebic is struggling with a foot problem and will miss the Portuguese trip. His absence is thought to be short term. Florenzi, Messias, Maignan, Hernandez and Diaz remain out but Bakayoko is ready to play, at least.

Ballo-Toure’s poor minutes versus Verona might exclude the French player from getting a second start in a row and there is speculation that Calabria will play as left back and therefore cede his right back spot to Kalulu. Kjaer looks to start in the middle of defense alongside Tomori with Romagnoli likely to return to the bench. In front of the defense Tonali will return to the starting line up with Bennacer. Kessie is suspended. The Ivorian was one of the victims of the aforementioned questionable refereeing decisions last month. Maldini underwhelmed in the weekend but Krunic is the only player available capable of being a nominal attacking midfielder. The Bosnian will play with Leao and Saelemaekers behind Giroud. Leao has looked closer to realizing his potential and can play a big part back in his home country.

Porto sit a point ahead of Milan in Group B and are second in the Primeira Liga behind Benfica. This past weekend they easily beat 3rd division Sintrense 5-0 in a cup game. 

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