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AC Milan vs. Tottenham Hotspur.

AC Milan vs. Tottenham Hotspur.

Harry Redknapp has claimed that Spurs will stick to their attacking principles, but can we really play any other way and hope to win the tie?

For me the reality is that Spurs are not a side that is capable of sitting back and absorbing pressure for 90 or perhaps 180 minutes, therefore our best and perhaps only form of defence is to take the game to Milan and hope we score more that they do, which will if nothing else make for an exciting pair of games, just as long as we remain in contention after tonight.

Despite being without Bale and probably Modric, Spurs will almost certainly look to take the game to Milan despite possibly having to start with two strong and defensive minded midfielders in Palacios and Sandro, but you feel that the other three midfielders will be given a more free reign should Modric not start.

Tactically, I wonder if Harry will look to play a formation nearer to a 4-2-3-1, with maybe Lennon and even the stronger defensive full back Corluka being players to miss our, as Harry may gamble and see Alan Hutton being a better attacking option than pushing one of the DCM`s forward and out of their comfort zone.

Dropping Corluka for the weaker defensive option of Hutton would be seen as a huge gamble, but if we choose to play a tighter and more narrow midfield the width has to come from somewhere and could it be from the full backs?

That could also mean a bench place for Aaron Lennon, as I feel that Harry would prefer to use Pienaar and Kranjcar with Van der Vaart playing a roaming role behind a lone striker, which if fit, I assume would be Crouch, be he remains a doubt for tonight.

Of course this could be pure speculation on my part and we could just as easily see a more usual 4-4-1-1 with Corluka at full back and Pienaar or Kranjcar on the left and Lennon on the right, but could Harry be playing cute and actually feels that Milan expect us to play a naive attacking style and by our playing differently we could catch them cold. I wouldn`t put it past him.

The last time we visited this stadium against Inter this season, I felt we showed far too much respect and perhaps were overawed by the occasion and allowed Inter to dominate us and at 4-0 at half time with only ten men, it looked like our CL dream could have been over, but I don`t expect Spurs to lack self belief tonight, but whether they have the quality to get a result remains to be seen.

Milan have their own injury problems, particularly in midfield, with Andrea Pirlo and Massimo Ambrosini injured, whilst new signings, Antonio Cassano, Mark van Bommel and Urby Emanuelson are all cup tied. Attack will be where Spurs will fear them most, with Robinho and Pato supporting the rejuvenated Zlatan Ibrahimovic in a three man attack, which will potentially rip us apart, but is this a night to see William Gallas perform in the way he did against Arsenal and be our hero once more?

Any positive result tonight will be seen as a great one, even if that is one that has us a goal behind for the second leg. A 2-1 deficit would not be the end of the world, but you feel that anything over a two goal lead could prove hard for Spurs to recover. This is a game I feel Tottenham can win, but we probably have to keep things tight from the start an perhaps hope the aging Milan legs will tire after the hour mark and we take control.

I have to confess I am absolutely clueless as to what tonight`s result will be. Spurs may well have the energy and quality to shock Milam with a high tempo game, but equally they could freeze and be overrun as they were against Inter in the first half, but aside from the three strikers (and what strikers) is there really much to worry about tonight? I have a feeling that harry will hope to strangle their supply and hope to counter at pace and perhaps we really can pull off a wonderful result...



Click here to join in the debate on the club forum.

Writer:OxfordSpur
Date:Tuesday February 15 2011
Time: 9:45AM

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Comments

0
If we can get anything here i'll be over the bloody moon!! COYS
cb25Yid
15/02/2011 09:47:00
0
take a look at the site poll and make your game prediction.
oxfordspur
15/02/2011 09:48:00
0
I would normally say stick to what we know but we have seen how far that has got us in away games in europe. i'm glad i'm not pickin the team or tactics cos to be honest i havent a clue what to do. As long as we show heart and fight we will get something from this. if im honest i wouldnt be too unhappy with a 2-1 defeat now away goals count. just get them back to the lane still in the game so we can get the cavelry back. This is our time COYS
cb25Yid
15/02/2011 09:50:00
0
I feel sick!
Tedspur
15/02/2011 09:57:00
0
I'll be very happy with a draw and away goal. That's a given I guess. Any worse than 2-0 loss and I would not be pleased at all. COME ON YOU SPURS. Play like your life depends on it and make us all proud. Audere est facere. :)
Madaboutspurs
15/02/2011 09:58:00
0
Time for Lennon to steal the headlines
micyid
15/02/2011 09:58:00
0
I think an away goal is out first and most important task... once we get that goal we can be a bit more tentative going forward and try to close out the midfield. Cant wait for this one! Im sure our lads will be buzzing all day. COYS
Tedspur
15/02/2011 09:59:00
0
4-4-1-1 For me, id have Gomes Courluka Gallas Dawson Esso Lennon Palacios Modric (Sandro) Niko VDV and Crouch. Hope its another cracking night, im sure it will be...
spurspanther
15/02/2011 10:02:00
0
We can play 451 or 4411 as you say OX. we dare I say it... need Crouchie to play in this game... but as an impact sub last 20 mins, to upset the opp. defense. Team.. Gomes, Charlie, Daws Gallas BAE Lennon, Sandro Pie. Niko, VDV. Pav. Subs Defoe Crouch, Bass carlo wilson Modders / woody. Niko to play the modric position, VDV in the hole / LW..
Block D Spurs
15/02/2011 10:03:00
0
Tedspur, that's called stress. You are a true supporter, my friend.
Madaboutspurs
15/02/2011 10:03:00
0
can i just say if we go out against milan over the 2 legs i will be gutted but i will also be proud i have enjoyed this CL lark and think we have done excellent and stamped our name on the minds of some of the bigger players around europe, if we qualify again then we may really push on. COYS
jljyid
15/02/2011 10:04:00
0
it's my birthday so I expect a gift from the team :) 1-2 :p COYS !
RamsesV
15/02/2011 10:07:00
0
mic, you got it right, lennon have to be on a mission tonight, he can make them retreat. I hope sandro and dawson have a good game.
RamsesV
15/02/2011 10:08:00
0
I just want the players to put in a good shift and give a good account of themselves, then even if we do not progress, at least we tried our best. COYS. Do it , Do it now.
Madaboutspurs
15/02/2011 10:09:00
0
absolutely jljyid, well said mate!
Tedspur
15/02/2011 10:09:00
0
Crouch, Lennon, VDV and Modric will be massive tonight, and our defense has to be extremely solid, if this happens, I think we can surprise the Italians!
liamyid
15/02/2011 10:24:00
0
Harry's indicated that Sandro will start tonight on tribalfootball.com.
COYS_TSB
15/02/2011 10:24:00
0
Jamie Redknapp has just said Crouch is starting and Modric is gonna get an hour!
liamyid
15/02/2011 10:25:00
0
And RamsesV, it was by birthday on the night of the Everton match last month and what present did the lads give me; a limp 2-1 defeat with a goal from Vdv :(
COYS_TSB
15/02/2011 10:26:00
0
If we play 4-2-3-1, we'll lose. Every time Harry tries to change the formation, it ends in disaster. We need pace badly against the tiring old legs of Meeeelan and so Lennon must be the first name on the team sheet. Corluka behind for stability. No need to repeat: I'd go with SpursPanther's team above.
Yorkshire_Spur
15/02/2011 10:27:00
0
Tsb, i hope my birthday will be different to yours. That said a 2-1 defeat won't be that bad ;)
RamsesV
15/02/2011 10:28:00
0
Am i the only one who think we can go there and win? the lads face a patched up Milan in a midfeild which consists Thiago Silva who is naturally a defender. Never are we gonna face such a weak AC team again, Their dealing with alot of pressure and will be kacking themselves at the thought of facing US so COYS lets have it!!
82_Yid
15/02/2011 10:28:00
0
Well if it's on tribalfootball.com then it must be true.
nicktheyido
15/02/2011 10:32:00
0
I AM POOING MY PANTS FOR THIS ONE! But very, very nervous about our game in hand against Blackpool a week today equally as much as I am today.
danielbolden
15/02/2011 10:34:00
0
we need solid at the back and all out attack from the rest lets take the game to them on there ground, really put on a show ..let em all no that the yids can match any team home or away..C.O.Y.S..
wsl2703
15/02/2011 10:34:00
0
Yep i have to agree 82_Yid, they do have more injuries than we have so, like you say, this may well be our best chance at beating them. We just need to get down to business straight away and not let the nerves get the better of us. Lets be honest.. this stadium is one of the best in the world and there will be millions watching it. VDV and Gallas will need to show the rest how its done with their experience.
Tedspur
15/02/2011 10:35:00
0
Harry's no idiot, he will not play Sandro and Palacios starting together in the middle when he knows full well we'll need to keep some possession. Modric will start (but not finish) GOMES, CORLUKA, DAWSON, GALLAS, BAE, KRANJCAR, MODRIC, SANDRO, LENNON, VDV, CROUCH. Bench (CUDICINI, WOODGATE, HUTTON, PIENAAR, PALACIOS, PAYLYUCHENKO and DEFOE
nicktheyido
15/02/2011 10:35:00
0
Madaboutspurs - exactly. Good shift is needed. That is all we can ask for. As for Gallas, can he even play tonight? He had injections in his foot on Saturday. Playing 2 games in quick succession is difficult for him anyway, let alone 2 demanding away games with an injury. Niko hasn't played all season - whilst being fresh, is his body ready/seasoned for 2 games in quick succession? We shall see. Stick to 4-4-1-1. Go for what you know. It has got us this far, and we have nothing to lose.
TonyRich
15/02/2011 10:38:00
0
If Hutton starts we are in big trouble. He is bad going forwards and worse at defending.
barretta
15/02/2011 10:39:00
0
Oh, and about time our strikers stood up to be counted! We need greater contribution from them - Now is the time!!
barretta
15/02/2011 10:40:00
0
Don't worry Liam, whatever else he will be, crouch will most definately be massive :-)
micyid
15/02/2011 10:42:00
0
me personally would play a 4-5-1 formation to strangle the midfield and try and hit on the break - lennon and pienaar (dont really like him but hey ho) on the flanks wilson and sandro absorbing the milan palymakers and attack with fingers crossed modric in the middle dictating play. Gallas and Daws sniffing everything out of the box with charlie and BAE taking the ball up the line. Crouch or pav as lone striker (at least till 70min) and then if we are trailing bring on vdv/defoe to hit them with fresh legs. I truely believe we can get a result here if were patient... COYS!!!
JurgentheGerman
15/02/2011 10:43:00
0
barretta - one thing you can't say about Hutton is that he is bad going forward. Why have him on the pitch then? As the author correctly says, when we lack width on the right, Hutton provides it. Hutton has created as many goals in the league as Bale. Plus in the Champions League, our strikers are scoring freely - so no problem there.
TonyRich
15/02/2011 10:45:00
0
Happy Birthday RamsesV. May your birthday wish come true.
Madaboutspurs
15/02/2011 10:47:00
0
I think we should stick to what we do best, go a goal down and come back to win 2-1, seriously though. If we play our natural attack minded game then AC will have to adapt to us, rather than playing an unnatural defensive game where we only react to them. Even with some of our 'big' players out there is strength in depth within the squad and a team spirit that has a never say die attitude. Hopefully whoever starts up front will hit a vein of form, lets face it we've got decent front men who are due a goal or two between them. Pato is the man that worries me and BAE will have to be on top of his game to shackle him, although Ibra has to do the business in a big game one day, I'm hoping he's his usual lazy sulking self tonight. All in all I'd settle for a single goal defeat with an away goal thrown in, my heart says a 1-3 victory, my head says a 3-1 defeat, so I'll split the difference and be well chuffed with a 2-2 draw. COYS
thfc1882whl
15/02/2011 10:48:00
0
lol @ mic
liamyid
15/02/2011 10:52:00
0
Tony - I was being a bit harsh. But Hutton gives the ball away so cheaply. I believe teams target our right back position when he is on the pitch. He doesn't get in tackles or blocks. He is no where near good enough for this level. Corluka is far more capable.
barretta
15/02/2011 10:53:00
0
thanks mad, i received a matchday hospitality for the west ham game !! COYS :)
RamsesV
15/02/2011 10:53:00
0
The more I think about there forward line the more it scares the ***** out of me, we have very little pace at the back so whoever plays be it Sandro or Palacious, they need to have a stormer for us to do well!
liamyid
15/02/2011 10:54:00
0
yes liamyid, this the only real thing that scares me about milan. pato, robinho and ibra. But i feel their coach will make a massive mistake. He won't play with the three and he will put thiago silva (the only one i can see coping with crouch) in the midfield. That said, just a defensif mid is needed ...
RamsesV
15/02/2011 10:58:00
0
Whatever the system, it's vital that we dictate the pace because I can see their older players tiring at the 70 min mark if we can keep a premier league pace going throughout. We're in trouble if we allow AC to dictate the pace and for that reason we should play our natural game. Just make us proud with your effort lads and we'll be right behind you whatever the result. The French ref worries me but hopefully he'll come down hard and early on any Italian style dirty tricks.
thfc1882whl
15/02/2011 10:59:00
0
If Modric starts then I believe Harry will opt for the workmanlike Pienaar on the left instead of Kranjcar. Lennon should be wide and VDV will play behind Crouch. That really only leaves a straight choice between Palacios and Sandro to slot in alongside Modric. My guess is Palacios will get the nod. That means Gomes - Corluka, Dawson, Gallas, Ekotto - Lennon, Palacios, Modric, Pienaar - VDV - Crouch with a bench of Cuducini, Hutton, Bassong, Kranjcar, Sandro, Pav, Defoe.
muttley
15/02/2011 11:00:00
0
It'll be 4-4-1-1 in formation I reckon. Hopefully Niko gets the nod ahead of Pienaar. He definitely deserves it! As for a scoreline, was it not 18 goals we scored in the last 6 games in CL? I'm hoping for a 4-3 to Spurs, but 3-3 may be more realistic and would also be a great result to bring back to the lane.
Parklaneyido
15/02/2011 11:00:00
0
Everyone is worried about Ibra... im more worried about robinho! Dawson and Gallas can dominate in the air but when it comes to 1on1 with a speedy forward.. robinho! I get pretty worried and the possibility of a penalty or 2 springs to mind :/ I wonder whether Kaboul or Ledley would have got the nod just for their speed if either were fit? How is woodys speed nowadays? He used to be on it!
Tedspur
15/02/2011 11:04:00
0
If it were Kaboul and Gallas at the back or ideally Kaboul & King I would feel a lot better about this one. We have no pace at there back whatsoever, and dawsons never say die attitude wont carry him through this one. I love Dawson as a true spurs warrior but he has looked shocking the last few games, amd how he got MOTM against Sunderland amazes me. If he has another bout of stage fright (like against Fulham) it will over before half time. On the other hand he may out in a good shift like we all know he can. This is where the game will be won or lost, if they smell fear and blood on the first 10-15 they will batter us for the most part, but if we stomp out their fires early on they have no plan b, it how Milan play. They remind me of arsenal so much as if they get you on the back foot they will go at you until the score, but if you don't give them a look in and attack them they are very beatable.
hudderspur
15/02/2011 11:07:00
0
The key is to start the game off wide awake!! No concentration lapses!!We need to keep Milan down to no more then a single goal lead going into the 2nd leg. I feel we can turn around a narrow deficit. This is a open match for us to win,but we must keep it as tight as possible. COYS
WestStandEnclosure
15/02/2011 11:08:00
0
same wave length there Hudderspur :)
Tedspur
15/02/2011 11:12:00
0
Come on Milan win this for all the other teams in England.
spudater
15/02/2011 11:15:00
0
Ted, when was Woody quick??? Mabye at last orders at the bar but i cant remember him ever being fast!
liamyid
15/02/2011 11:16:00
0
Certainly Lennon will play as he was rested against Sunderland for just that reason, I really feel he's the key tonite. COYS!!
tengboon
15/02/2011 11:17:00
0
lol you're probably right.. maybe im just being too optimistic. However if needed.. who better to have on the bench than a semi/fully fit defender?
Tedspur
15/02/2011 11:18:00
0
Woody* sorry..
Tedspur
15/02/2011 11:21:00
0
As long as we don't go into the game with the attitude of "well we beat Inter Milan and they're the current champions". This year, A.C Milan are much, much better than Inter.
bernio3000
15/02/2011 11:22:00
0
COME ON MILAN
spudater
15/02/2011 11:25:00
0
tengboon - I agree that all signs point to Lennon starting. With Bale out, we need his drive & pace. But expect to see him doubled up, so it is up to Vdv, Niko and co to exploit the gaps. It looked like a huge pitch last time out (maybe that is because we had 10 men), so we need the pacier defenders & midfielders in my opinion.
TonyRich
15/02/2011 11:25:00
0
I desperately hope Harry doesn't play Hutton, we really can't afford to have his constant mistakes in positioning leaving us vulnerable. That far outweighs any advantages we may get in extra attacking IMO.
tengboon
15/02/2011 11:25:00
0
Weststand - exactly right. We need to be on our game from the off or else we could be 3 down within 30 minutes (ala: Fulham, Young Boys, Inter). Wilson & Sandro not great together Ox - first half v Charlton proved that & think some on here underestimate Pienaar. He has good CL experience & we will need his work rate & tenacity more than ever tonight. Just hope Modric starts & Lennon is flying. Nervous - but excited.
Windlespur
15/02/2011 11:29:00
0
lol spudater you actually took the time to set up a vital account with that name just for us wow i am truly honoured that we get under your skin so much you have done that its brilliant
jljyid
15/02/2011 11:30:00
0
Happy Birthday RamsesV. Hope you have a great day and an even better evening :-).. COYS....
coopsieyid
15/02/2011 11:31:00
0
As for tonight, who knows what the heck will happen? Let's just hope we get to enjoy our night and avoid letting this Champions League experience end in humiliation. I'm not saying that's what is going to happen, I don't believe it will. However, if we can roll over for the likes of Wigan and Wet Spam, we are perfectly capable of being embarrassed by AC Milan. The team should simply be the same as the one that started on Saturday evening, but with VDV in for Defoe. Simples!!.... By the way, that Kranjcar fella seems to be some player ;-)
coopsieyid
15/02/2011 11:33:00
0
Can I just say, I also can't stand the thought of Hutton playing instead of Corluka tonight. However, if anyone is likely to 'nobble' Robinho ;-)
coopsieyid
15/02/2011 11:42:00
0
I think all form goes out the window, you wont see many professional gambles backing this one, theres no value, no certainties. All we know is it will be a very interesting game to see how far we have come. If the 4th/5th best team in england can take out the best in italy, what does that say about seria a? I am gonna back Crouch 3-1, why, because i have put that bet on every CL game and I know the day I dont do it, it will come in!
liamyid
15/02/2011 11:43:00
0
Gutted that Bale is out for this but we will need him for the return leg and for the PL run in so not worth risking him. Team should be this: Gomes, Corluka, Gallas, Daws, BAE, Lennon, Modric, Palacios, Kranjcar, VDV, Crouch.
TornadoYid
15/02/2011 11:44:00
0
I cant friken wait for tonight!!
spurspanther
15/02/2011 11:45:00
0
Coops, do you know were Robinio plays for AC? I was hoping it was on Benny's side cos he's been in great form, Id be worried if he was against Charlie cos he will get turned inside out, he's got the turning circle of an artic!
liamyid
15/02/2011 11:45:00
0
Jljyid Dont big yourselves up too much i just dont like spuds ;-0
spudater
15/02/2011 11:49:00
0
I'm afraid I have no bloody idea, liam!!.. I just based my assumption about Hutton 'nobbling' him, upon my memory of him constantly bombing down the left for Citeh and Brazil.. Maybe somebody else could shed a little light??
coopsieyid
15/02/2011 11:50:00
0
Coops, ive heard of that Niko guy too! musta gone out on loan or somethin for a while cos u'd have been mad not to play him!!! Just glad harry brought him back and just at the right time!!! Cant wait for tonight!! its gonna be a long day at work watching that clock tick away!!! Something tells me i wont get much done today as i'll be on here! oh well, COYS
cb25Yid
15/02/2011 11:50:00
0
A race between a 31 year old Woodgate and a 27 year old Dawson - now that would be funny. The case isn't good for Dawson. He'd probably start in the wrong place, take about 10 seconds to react to the starters gun and somehow end up on his arse. My money's on Woodgate even though he'll probably stop for a pint half way.
muttley
15/02/2011 11:51:00
0
liam - check out the tactics on zonal marking (great site) : http://www.zonalmarking.net/2011/02/15/milan-v-tottenham-tactical-preview/?
TonyRich
15/02/2011 11:51:00
0
cb25 - Yeah Harry has a knack of knowing EXACTLY when to introduce a player. He managed it last season with Bale and Pav, and now he's at it again with that Niko fella. Bloody weird how he manages to always know when to introduce these players, and doesn't just wait for injuries to leave him with no other choice but to play them!! ;-)....
coopsieyid
15/02/2011 11:54:00
0
BUT this is NOT a time to question our greatest ever manager. It is a time to get behind the boys, in hope of them bringing home the bacon. (Metaphorically speaking of course lol)...
coopsieyid
15/02/2011 11:55:00
0
The other thing to note is that Niko & Pienaar have been taking a lot of dead balls lately. This means that the more lethal Vdv can be in waiting to strike as opposed to taking the dead balls himself.
TonyRich
15/02/2011 11:58:00
0
Tony, cheers mate, very interesting read from an arthur who seems to understand the tactical game well..... completely over my head!! :-)
liamyid
15/02/2011 12:03:00
0
Some interesting CL stats--Harry Redknapp’s team have scored four goals from counter attacks this season, at least twice as many as 30 of the other 31 teams who have played in the Champions League this season, and their total of eight shots from counter attacks is also a competition high. It was how Tottenham disposed of Milan’s city rivals Inter in the group game at White Hart Lane, scoring twice from counter attacks and utilising the pace of Gareth Bale and Aaron Lennon. The Tottenham central midfield of Modric and Huddlestone sat deep and then released the front four to devastating effect. Similar tactics at the San Siro could bring further success. Spurs winger Aaron Lennon leads the table for most assists amongst players still involved in this season’s Champions League. The North London club also have Peter Crouch to call upon, who has set up three goals and is still a handful for European defenders yet to play against him. This combination of tall and small could prove potent against AC Milan.
liamyid
15/02/2011 12:09:00
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