Tottenham vs. AC Milan Odds, Pick | Champions League Preview (Feb. 14)
Francesco Scaccianoce/Getty. Pictured: Pierre Kalulu.
AC Milan vs. Tottenham Odds
AC Milan Odds
|Over/Under||2.5 (-102 / -120)|
|Both Teams to Score (Yes/No)||(-112 / +112)|
|Odds via FanDuel. Get the latest soccer odds here.|
AC Milan and Tottenham both had higher expectations for their 2022-23 seasons to this point, and both have really struggled since returning from the World Cup break.
Despite this reality and a rash of injuries for both clubs, one of them will be a Champions League quarterfinalist in a month’s time. Spurs travel to Milan as manager Antonio Conte returns to the San Siro on Tuesday in the first leg of the knockout stage.
Spurs lost 4-1 to Leicester City at the weekend and had major struggles in every area of defending. Milan won just their second match in nine across all competitions post-World Cup against Torino on Friday, but the performance was hardly inspiring as a whole.
There are more questions than answers regarding both of these clubs right now and injuries only add to the uncertainty. You can assume Spurs will take a possession-averse approach away from home in the Champions League and dare Milan to break them down. That could lead to long periods of a stalemate in Tuesday’s first leg.
Let’s break down AC Milan vs. Tottenham.
AC Milan Dealing With a Host of Problems
AC Milan’s underlying numbers have nose dived in the last month and it has coincided with some key injuries and players out of form. The attack was built mostly on the superstar first half production from Rafael Leão, but his numbers have dipped of late.
He’s produced just 1.5 shots per 90 in the last month, when he was over 3.5 in the first half of the campaign. They’re not getting enough production from the rest of the attack to overcome his drop in form.
Injuries have hurt them too, but Milan do have mixed news ahead of this CL clash. Mike Maignan is out once again in the goal, but they will have top defender Fikayo Tomori back in the side. He’s a major upgrade. Ismaël Bennacer would have loved his matchup against Spurs’ backup midfield, but he will also miss this match.
AC Milan have produced less than 1 xG in four of their last six Serie A matches. The win against Torino came off of one or two moments in an otherwise dull attacking display at home. They managed just four shots in the first hour, with none on target.
That came less than a week after they played Inter and didn’t take their first shot until the 60th minute. There are major questions about this attack’s ability to produce when not in transition. As good as Leäo and even Theo Hernandez are at running into the open field and into space, the production is severely lacking when asked to break down a solid defensive block.
Tottenham Have Midfield Questions
Spurs are now in a bit of a crisis in midfield for the first leg of this Champions League tie, and it dramatically reduces Conte’s flexibility and approach to the matchup.
Rodrigo Bentancur is out for the season with a knee injury. Pierre Emile-Hojbjerg is suspended for the first leg. Yves Bissouma has a stress fracture and is out injured as well. That leaves Pape Sarr and Oliver Skipp as the midfield pairing for this match.
Losing Hojbjerg and Bentancur is a lot of ball winning and defensive work for a team that wants to sit deep and absorb pressure. The two of them had as many ball recoveries as any other player in the whole CL group stage. Cristian Romero will be back in the lineup for Spurs to partner with Ben Davies and Eric Dier in the three-man defense, but Tottenham also have questions in goal with Hugo Lloris out.
The defense is built on conceding a bunch of low quality chances, defending deep and shutting out big scoring chances. Against Milan, a team whose shot quality is mediocre, this can work very effectively. But it’s much safer to do with Lloris in goal than Fraser Forster, who has struggled as a shot-stopper.
Tottenham’s success will come down to how good they are on the counter, and they haven’t been very good at it this season. Their big scoring chances are way down, as are the dribbling numbers from Hueng-min Son. Skipp and Sarr in midfield will only put more pressure on the wing backs to produce as well.
AC Milan vs. Tottenham Pick
Given the injury and form situation, this is going to be an extremely defensive and conservative approach from Spurs. Tottenham’s defense struggles to defend in space and when asked to come out and play, we’ve seen all of the defensive errors. But, this unit showed against Manchester City how good it can be defending without the ball in the penalty area.
The defense will dare Milan to beat them, knowing that a draw is an excellent result for Spurs. You’ll see some transition moments through Dejan Kulusevski and Son, but the lack of efficiency there likely sees this out to be a stalemate.
Additionally, midfield weakness for Spurs makes it impossible to bet them on the road at a toss-up number in my view. However, Tottenham will make it difficult for Milan to break them down and the under is the play in my view because of that.
This is still a defense that doesn’t concede big scoring chances and Milan are likely to generate a ton of low quality shots. I’d like it better with Lloris in, but I’m playing the under in both halves of this Champions League tie. First half under 1 and full game under 2.5 goals, both at -130 or better.
Picks: 1st Half Under 1 (-120)| Under 2.5 (-130)
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