AC Milan vs Ludogorets Prediction, Preview, Lineups & Betting Tips
After pretty much ensuring their position in the last 16, AC Milan will take on Ludogorets Razgrad influenced by a convincing 3-0 first-leg victory in Bulgaria. The Rossoneri were in control for most of the time and their victory in Razgrad was completely deserved, whilst hosts were far from their best shape we’ve seen in their previous European games. Indeed, “The Eagles” were a pale copy of themselves and only an exceptional surprise in Milan will put them through to the next stage.
Find out the possible starting lineups of AC Milan and Ludogorets, as well as our betting prediction with the highest betting odds available on the selected market.
Gennaro Gattuso will make many rotations ahead the second Europa League 1/16 final as the former Italian midfielder and his men have an upcoming Serie A clash against Roma on Sunday night. That’s the reason why Gattuso will field some backup players here and will rest his key players before the journey to Rome, which can restore MIlan’s top 4 hopes if they scoop the whole set of points.
Captain Leonardo Bonucci, Lucas Biglia, Hakan Calhanoglu, Suso, Giacomo Bonaventura are among the names who will take a break after the narrow success over Sampdoria last Sunday, while Marco Storari and Andrea Conti are both injured.
Mateo Musacchio and Cristian Zapata are expected to build a centre-back duo here and Luca Antonelli/Ignazio Abate should operate on both backs. Manuel Locatelli served a one-match ban in the first leg and will start in midfield here, probably forming a midfield trio with veteran Riccardo Montolivo and another youngster in Jose Mauri’s face. Fabio Borini and club’s Europa League top scorer Andre Silva will hope to get a rare start under Gattuso.
Matchday update 22.02.2018: Meanwhile, Franck Kessie has recovered and is expected to feature in midfield against Ludogorets.
Ludogorets head to Italy after a faceless first-leg at home turf, but with somehow restored confidence after a followed 4-1 win over Slavia Sofia in club’s first domestic league game in 2018. Dimitar Dimitrov’s men can play for their pride only and Bulgarian champions are surely eager to win something from their two-legged matchup with the reputable Italian club.
Brazilian left-back Natanael Pimienta and Romanian forward Claudiu Keserü both return from suspension but only Natanael is expected to start in Milan, although Ludogorets hinted for a lack of typical striker in the first match. Winter signing Jakub Swierczok will obviously need more time to adapt in the club, playing only 45 minutes in the first leg, while experienced Keseru is not of Dimitrov’s favourites. The Romanian netted a brace last weekend but we believe Ludogorets will once more play the “false-nine” formation with Wanderson-Marcelinho-Lukoki behind the “striker” and Virgil Misidjan on top, playing a central forward role. This will improve Ludogorets’ pace and “The Eagles” are surely eager to score in Milan, especially after the very poor first-leg display. They’re capable of more and can approach the second-leg with no pressure over them.
Europa League: AC Milan vs Ludogorets Razgrad Prediction and Betting Tips
Some AC Milan players will have a chance to prove their worth before a vital game in Rome, so they should pull their ultimate effort against an opposition that will be willing to get a result. Like we already said, Ludogorets is a club that is prone to play more offensive football, a reputation they’ve failed to justify at home, so we expect more from them in Italy, particularly against a weakened AC Milan squad.
We fancy the currently suggested odds on “Both teams to score – Yes“. Decent value for a game where we basically have a “B-Squad” of a big name facing against a motivated Eastern European club, filled with foreign players who are eager to show their potential. The first-leg score will not play here and we expect pure motivation by both sides.
Possible Lineups of AC Milan and Ludogorets
Venue: “Stadio Giuseppe Meazza”, Milan.
Referee: Alberto Undiano Mallenco from Spain.
AC Milan: Gianluigi Donnarumma – Ignazio Abate, Cristian Zapata, Mateo Musacchio, Luca Antonelli – Manuel Locatelli, Riccardo Montolivo, Franck Kessie – Patrick Cutrone, Andre Silva, Fabio Borini. (4-3-3)
Missing players: Marco Storari and Andrea Conti are both injured.
PFC Ludogorets Razgrad: Renan – Cicinho, Igor Plastun, Cosmin Moti, Natanael – Jacek Goralski, Anicet – Jody Lukoki, Marcelinho, Wanderson – Virgil Misidjan. (4-2-3-1)
Missing players: Vladislav Stoyanov is injured.