Tottenham vs AC Milan preview, free betting tips and prediction: How will Milan cope with Mauricio Pochettino's energetic side?
Spurs @ 6/5 with Coral
One of the few Premier League clubs yet to sign anyone, Spurs are in good nick ahead of the new season. Mauricio Pochettino would go one further than that. He would tell you that they essentially have made new signings but without the transfer fees and fanfare that accompany new signings.
That’s because, to him, getting key players to sign new contracts feels like making a new signing. Whatever you (get told to) say, Mauricio. While getting Harry Kane to commit his future to the club is a coup, fans still feel a little anxious about how reliant they are on their star striker. But this could be the season where more academy prospects make the step up to the first team. 17-year-old midfielder Oliver Skipp impressed against Barcelona as did a number of other youngsters. This will also be Lucas Moura’s first full season at the club.
Gennaro Gattuso took over the reins midway through last season and helped AC Milan to Europa League football. They were briefly banned for the competition before appealing a UEFA ruling and having that ban overturned. But there’s still a precariousness to Milan ahead of the new season. Stories persist about Antonio Conte being brought in to replace Gattuso. The Leonardo Bonucci transfer didn’t work out as well as expected and the Italy defender could be on his way. There’s even talk of him going back to Juventus. Above all, he wants Champions League football. With all of their rivals reinforcing ahead over the summer, there is the desire to draft in a marquee forward. Gonzalo Higuain is a name that keeps popping up. Perhaps they can work something out in a deal to take Bonucci back to Turin.
Spurs had 12 players at the World Cup and many of them made it to the latter stages of the competition. That means an extended break for the likes of Kane, Dele Alli, Kieran Trippier, Eric Dier, Mousa Dembele Hugo Lloris and Christian Eriksen. This has given a selection of young stars the chance to shine and they’ve taken it. This could be a huge season for Lucas Moura, the Brazilian showing his appetite and ability in a recent 4-1 win over AS Roma. One worry for Pochettino will be the fitness of Victor Wanyama. The Kenyan midfielder was sent home from the tour without playing a game amid fears about the state of his troublesome knee.
The aforementioned Bonucci problem means he mightn’t feature in this game. He’s agitating for a move and may get one before the window closes. Some Italian media outlets are writing that Cristiano Ronaldo’s move to Turin is one of the main instigators behind Bonucci’s desire.