Giants are in a second-level European competition. Milan and Manchester United have a total of 10 titles of champions of the Old Continent (Rossoneri seven, Devils three). The Milan club returned to international competitions this season after a one-year break, while the team from the Theater of Dreams failed to reach the 1/8th of the Champions League in the competition of Paris Saint-Germain and Leipzig, and continued the battle for the Europa League this winter.
Both teams are the only favorites for the trophy in the second-ranked competition of the Old Continent, the first game of the 1/8th final is on the program today (18.55) at Old Trafford. Both teams are close to the placement in the strongest competition of the Old Continent from the domestic championships, which do not have the imperative like, for example, the London clubs Arsenal and Tottenham.
While the English club unexpectedly easily knocked out Real Sociedad after 4: 0 in San Sebastian and a goalless match in the return, Stefan Pioli's team barely knocked out the Serbian champion Red Star. After 2: 2 at the Belgrade, in the return match at San Siro Milan, Milan has progressed into the round of 16 with a player more on the field.
It was 1: 1, so due to more goals on the away field, they managed to pass among the 16 best in this competition.
Milan will be decimated in Manchester. The players are out of the team due to injuries - Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Hakan Chalhanoglu, Theo Hernandez, and Ante Rebic.
At that moment, there will be no January signings, experienced Croat Mario Mandžukić, as well as Ismael Bennacer. Captain Alessio Romagnoli is in question. Pioli will have a big doubt about the starting 11, especially in attack.
Attack will be led by the Portuguese Rafael Leao, and behind him will be Diaz, Saelemaekers, and the national player of Bosnia and Herzegovina Rade Krunić. United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjer also has problems, especially in attack.
According to the announcements of the British media, the first match of the 1/8th finals is expected to be without the striking tandem in the attack, Marcus Rashford, and Edinson Cavani. The English national team player injured his wrist in the Manchester derby against City last weekend, while the Uruguayan had a muscle injury.
Manchester's goal is secured by Dean Henderson instead of David De Gea. Paul Pogba, Donnie Van de Beek, Juan Mata, and Phil Jones are out due to injuries. Throughout history, they have been playing against each other on 10 occasions and achieved an identical number of victories.
The Rossoneri were eliminated the 1/8th finals of the Champions League in the 2009/10 season, while United fans were sad in the spring of 2007 when they won 3: 2 in the semifinals at Old Trafford but their dreams were shattered by Kaka, Clarence Seedorf, and Alberto Gilardino.
United has been eliminated four out of five times by AC Milan. Only the Rossoneri and Real knocked England giant out of international competitions four times