stats11 September 2021


A closer look at four big battles ahead of Sunday's important San Siro showdown

AC Milan v Lazio marks the start of an important week for the Rossoneri. It’s a clash between two of the five teams currently sitting on six points after two matchdays, and many high-quality duels undoubtedly await. Ahead of tomorrow’s San Siro showdown, here are the four most interesting individual battles:

The battle of the goalkeepers is also one between the only shot-stoppers who have created a goalscoring opportunity during the first two matchdays: Maignan picked out Leão for a shot against Sampdoria, while Reina provided an assist for Felipe Anderson against Spezia. They’re two goalkeepers who are heavily involved in the build-up play of their respective sides, and, while they may be at different stages of their careers, they’re both undoubtedly very reliable. Having made 13 appearances for the Rossoneri between 2018 and 2019, the Spaniard will be coming up against his former side at San Siro.

Both pillars at the heart of defence, Tomori and Acerbi are leading the way when it comes to passes made for AC Milan and Lazio respectively so far this season, with this applying as a whole and within their own half of the pitch. A lot of play goes through these two defenders, who are physically strong and comfortable with the ball at their feet. In a match between two sides that like to keep possession, they could have a big bearing on the result. Acerbi is also set to face his former employers: he played ten times for the Diavolo during the first half of the 2012/13 campaign.

Two highly talented number 10s who, thanks to their performances for AC Milan and Lazio, have recently earned call-ups to the senior Spain squad. The duel between Díaz and Luis Alberto is one between two compatriots and playmakers who have made the most passes in the opposition half for their respective teams. While Brahim is growing as a player, Luis Alberto, who is enjoying his sixth season at Lazio, has been one of the best footballers in his position in Serie A over the past few years, scoring 36 goals and providing 51 assists (16 in 2019/20) for the Biancocelesti.

One of the best attacking duels not just in the Italian league, but also in European football. On one side is an icon of his generation, expected to make his return from the injury he suffered at the Stadium on May 9, while on the other side is the Golden Boot winner from the 2019/20 season and newly crowned European champion with Italy. While Lazio are one of the teams against which Ibra has played the most in Serie A (over 1,000 minutes, with seven goals in 13 appearances), the start of the season has been turbocharged for Immobile, with four goals in the first two matches from just five shots on goal.

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