AC Milan vs PSG: Three key players to look out for

The Hard Tackle lists three players whose performances can positively impact the result when AC Milan and PSG clash on Tuesday.

The UEFA Champions League resumes this week with the second half of the group stage kicking off on Tuesday. The day will serve us two marquee fixtures, the second of which will come from San Siro, where AC Milan will host PSG.

Stefano Pioli is coming under increasing pressure after a few sub-par performances by AC Milan. The Serie A giants have failed to win their last four fixtures, with the latest being a shock 1-0 loss to Udinese this past weekend. Meanwhile, the hosts are yet to even score a goal in the UEFA Champions League and sit at the bottom of the Group F standings.

On the other hand, PSG began the 2023/24 season poorly. But Luis Enrique’s men have picked up form in the last few weeks, even though they have not looked fluent on the pitch. Nonetheless, they find themselves sitting atop the Group F standings after beating AC Milan on Matchday 3. And another victory will take them a step closer to clinching a place in the Round of 16.

Despite AC Milan’s struggles, they have the potential to hurt PSG on Tuesday. But failure to get the better of the visitors will effectively end their campaign in the UEFA Champions League. So, Pioli will look at a few players for inspiration, with Enrique also having a few “key players” who can positively influence the tie. The Hard Tackle lists three such stars ahead of the big clash tonight.

Rafael Leao

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AC Milan would have hoped for Rafael Leao to become an elite performer at the top level when he guided them to the Serie A title in the 2021/22 season. But the Portuguese international has blown hot and cold since becoming the MVP of the Italian top flight that term.

While Leao’s stock remains high, his performances have not justified the billing pundits and fans often bestow upon him. The 24-year-old has captured the attention of high-profile clubs like PSG, Real Madrid, and Manchester United.

But unless he steps up his performance levels and consistently delivers the goods on the biggest stage, those suitors might disappear. So, Tuesday’s fixture gives Leao the opportunity to prove his naysayers wrong. The former Serie A MVP will look to trouble the PSG defenders with his directness. In addition, Theo Hernandez’s presence on the left flank will be crucial for him.

Randal Kolo Muani

Kylian Mbappe will invariably have the spotlight on him. And as he does more often than not, the French international should rise to the occasion and be PSG’s talisman on Tuesday. But even Mbappe needs the appropriate support to consistently deliver the goods. That brings Randal Kolo Muani into the picture.

The French international was slow off the blocks after sealing a deadline-day move to PSG. He still only has a sub-par record of three goals and two assists in ten appearances thus far for Les Parisiens. But recent performances have suggested that a change in fortunes is afoot for him.

Kolo Muani was an exceptional performer for Eintracht Frankfurt and proved to be one of the most productive performers in Germany in the last 12 months. The reverse fixture suggested he was finding his feet. And another impressive performance will drag PSG over the finish line, getting them the crucial three points on Tuesday.

Fikayo Tomori

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Our list ends with another AC Milan player. As is often the case, we go ahead with two players from the team that will be the underdog in the upcoming battle. So, the third and final pick today is AC Milan defender Fikayo Tomori.

The English international took to Serie A like a fish to the water after arriving from Chelsea nearly three years ago. He was a pivotal figure as AC Milan lifted the Serie A title in the 2021/22 season. But Tomori’s performance levels have dipped in the last 12 months.

In particular, his sub-par showings have been one of the reasons behind AC Milan dropping points in the recent barren run. So, the 25-year-old needs to rediscover his best form to guide the Rossoneri. A solid showing will frustrate and isolate Kylian Mbappe, and that will be job half done for the hosts. AC Milan will thus bank on the former Chelsea defender to get them closer to a positive result.

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