Sunday, February 14, 2010

A Manchester Midfield Diamond to beat Madrid

AC Milan have had a rollercoaster season so far, the second coming of Pep Guardiola, Leonardo Araujo struggled to make an impact  with a side deprived of their two most important players from last year, Kaka and Paulo Maldini, an ageing squad, an out of form Ronaldinho, a misfiring Hunterlaar and a foreboding injury list. A change of formation, and a preference for attacking football deemed  "4-2-fantasy" , which unleashed Ronaldinho and Alex Pato and saw Pirlo, Seedorf and Borrielo fire Milan into Scudetto winning contention and a champions league place.

How we go about countering the quality they have in midfield is without doubt the most important question. Rooney, Berbatov and Owen as well as Valencia, Park, Giggs and Nani have the quality to score enough goals if they get enough chances. The defence, when fit, are solid enough to get clean sheets anywhere in Europe, but to ensure progress into the next stage, the midfield will have to be both creative and destructive, fashioning chances for our attackers, while concurently stalling the progress of Pato, Ronaldinho, Beckham, Borriello and Hunterlaar into our defensive third.

Fletcher and Carrick are without doubt starters, but as we have seen before, a midfield trio, or a diamond usually works wonders in europe.  Scholes, should if fit play, and Giggs, could be an inspired selection if he can dominate Milan as he did Chelsea last January.  These four together can nullify Pirlo, Seedorf, Ambrosini, and can stop balls getting to the wide players, and still dictate play.