The teams are the same, but everything else is different. Or at least heightened.
Feelings certainly will be, especially with the home team’s anger after last week’s 3-0 smackdown. For others, like for Thiago Silva, emotions will be a bit more complex, as he returns to the place where he made his name in Europe well over a decade ago — and where a young Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was just trying to get his career started at that time.
Competitively, the landscape of the group has shifted a bit as well. Whereas last week’s match was a must-win for Chelsea, this is now more of a must-not-lose. Even defeat, especially a narrow one, might not spell doom for us, provided we win our final two games.
And that might be good, as this is bound to be quite a bit harder than on Wednesday.
Date / Time: Tuesday, October 11, 20.00 BST; 3pm EDT; 12:30am IST (next day)
Venue: San Siro, Milan, Italy
Referee: Daniel Siebert (on pitch); Marco Fritz (VAR)
Forecast: Overcast but not too cold
On TV: BT Sport 2 (UK); none (USA); Sony TEN 2 (India); SuperSport Football Plus, Canal+ Sport 5 (NGA); elsewhere
Streaming: BT Sport Live (UK); Paramount+ (USA); Sony LIV (India); DStv Now (NGA)
AC Milan team news: Milan got back to winning ways with a 2-0 win over a struggling Juventus side over the weekend, with Fikayo Tomori opening the scoring and with the return from injury of left back Theo Hernández making a big difference. Like Chelsea, Milan also rotated their squad for the league match, though not quite as extensively, with Olivier Giroud playing over an hour, Rafael Leão over 80 minutes, and Tomori, Tonali, and Theo the full match.
“We have to show that last week was just an episode and not normality. We were very disappointed with the performance in London.”
-Stefano Pioli; source: UEFA
View from the enemy: AC Milan Offside
Chelsea team news: 22 players traveled, with Wesley Fofana (knee), Hakim Ziyech (illness), and N’Golo Kanté (still the hamstring) staying home. Kanté’s setback is especially disappointing and frustrating; he hasn’t featured since our second game of the season, now almost two months ago!
Graham Potter rotated extensively for Saturday’s 3-0 win over Wolverhampton, getting good performances from those called upon while the likes of Raheem Sterling, Silva, and Aubameyang got to kick their feet up. The new head coach is making some decisive calls and getting them right, so hopefully that trend continues.
Previously: ‘twas a good day.