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Slavia Prague
Europa League | Round of 16 | 2nd Leg
Mar 14, 2024 at 5.45pm UK
Sinobo stadium
Milan logo

Slavia Prague
1 - 3
AC Milan

Jurasek (84')
Doudera (22'), Trpisovsky (24'), Tomic (86'), Dorley (89')
Holes (20')
FT(HT: 0-3)
Pulisic (33'), Loftus-Cheek (36'), Leao (45+6')
Tomori (44'), Gabbia (56'), Leao (89')

Preview: Slavia Prague vs. AC Milan - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Thursday's Europa League clash between Slavia Prague and AC Milan, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

AC Milan travel to the Czech capital for the second leg of their Europa League last 16 clash with Slavia Prague on Thursday evening.

The Rossoneri lead 4-2 from an exhilarating first leg, which leaves the tie swayed heavily in their favour, but not yet over by any means.

Match preview

AC Milan's Chaka Traore celebrates scoring their third goal with teammates on January 7, 2024© Reuters

A spirited performance from 10-man Slavia saw them keep the tie alive despite being heavily up against it, playing with a man light for over an hour.

El Hadji Malick Diouf's early red card had the Czechs on the back foot early on, and after Olivier Giroud's opener, it only looked like going in one direction.

However, David Doudera's scorching volley was too hot to handle for Mike Maignan and pulled the visitors level, silencing San Siro.

Milan would go into the break with a two-goal lead though, thanks to late first-half strikes from midfield duo Tijjani Reijnders and Ruben Loftus-Cheek.

Another eye-catching strike pulled Jindrich Trpisovsky's back into it though, as Ivan Schranz lashed one home midway through the second half to make it 3-2, but Christian Pulisic made the most of excellent work from Rafael Leao to restore that two-goal advantage.

While being the big outsiders having to claw back the deficit, Slavia can take positives into the second leg as they chase a fourth European quarter-final in six seasons.

Slavia Prague's Lukas Masopust celebrates scoring their second goal with teammates on November 9, 2023© Reuters

Historical results at home to Italian opposition make for encouraging reading to Slavia too, as they have won four and drawn two of their eight meetings with Serie A side on home turf.

A two-goal win is needed to at least force extra time though, but they did manage that when they welcomed Italian opposition to the Fortuna Arena in the group stages, as Roma were beaten 2-0 here by the Cervenobili in November.

The weekend's 4-0 thumping of Teplice may give them additional confidence heading into this one, as paired with Sparta Prague's heavy defeat to Viktoria Plzen, Slavia are right back in the title race domestically.

Knockout football in the Europa League has not been their forte of late though, especially at home, as they have failed to win any of their previous four knockouts games here in this competition, scoring just one goal in the process.

Milan have only won on two of their six trips to Czechia though, but one of those did come against Slavia's cross-town rivals Sparta in 2020-21.

While the lead looks comfortable, much is made about the fact Milan have a history of throwing away big leads in European ties, notably in the 2005 Champions League final, and the 2003-04 quarter-final against Deportivo La Coruna, where they lost after being 4-1 up from the home leg.

AC Milan coach Stefano Pioli on February 11, 2024© Reuters

Even in this competition, the Rossoneri have blown a healthy first-leg lead, losing to Bordeaux back in 1996 despite leading 2-0 from the first leg.

The current crop did their best to dispel this myth by holding onto their 3-0 lead over Rennes in the previous round, progressing comfortably despite losing the second leg in France.

With just one win in their last seven European away games though, Stefano Pioli must ensure his side keep the game in their control in the early stages.

Last season's Champions League semi-finalists are still seeking a first-ever title in this competition, with their best showing being semi-final defeats in 1972 and 2002.

In their two most recent knockout stage appearances in the Europa League, English opposition got the better of them at this stage, with Arsenal (2017-18) and Manchester United (2020-21) knocking the Rossoneri out.

Slavia Prague Europa League form:

Slavia Prague form (all competitions):
  • W
  • W
  • L
  • D
  • L
  • W

AC Milan Europa League form:

AC Milan form (all competitions):

Team News

Alessandro Florenzi in action for AC Milan in October 2023© Reuters

Diouf will be suspended for this second leg after his red card at San Siro last midweek on his debut in European competition.

The Senegalese teenager will be joined by Petr Sevcik and Christos Zafeiris on the sidelines here, with the latter still recovering from an ankle injury.

David Pech and Sheriff Sinyan remain out long-term for the hosts, as they could remain largely unchanged, apart from Jan Boril replacing Diouf at left-back.

Bookings for Alessandro Florenzi in his last two Milan appearances triggered two separate suspensions for the veteran, one domestically and one on the continent, and after serving one against Empoli at the weekend, he will serve another here.

Tommaso Pobega is the only known injury absentee for the Italians, as Pioli may go strong knowing he cannot afford to rotate too heavily, with the job not yet done.

Giroud opened the scoring last Thursday, netting his 15th Europa League goal, and his first since the 2019 final for Chelsea against his former club Arsenal, and the 37-year-old will compete with Luka Jovic for a starting spot here, with the Serbian likely to drop out after starting in the league on Sunday.

Slavia Prague possible starting lineup:
Stanek; Vlcek, Holes, Zima, Boril; Doudera, Masopust, Dorley, Provod, Zmrzly; Chytil

AC Milan possible starting lineup:
Maignan; Calabria, Kjaer, Gabbia, Hernandez; Bennacer, Reijnders, Loftus-Cheek; Pulisic, Giroud, Rafael Leao

SM words green background

We say: Slavia Prague 2-2 AC Milan

Milan have been involved in plenty of thrilling encounters recently with many goals, including in the second leg of their playoff tie with Rennes, but they should still have enough to comfortably navigate this encounter even if Slavia get on the scoresheet.

While being in significantly better shape than rivals Sparta, who were thrashed by Liverpool last week, this may be too much of an ask for Slavia, as the Czech representation in the Europa League will likely end this week.

For data analysis of the most likely results, scorelines and more for this match please click here.

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Group A

QWest Ham650115
4Backa Topola60151

Group B

4AEK Athens61144

Group C

QSparta Prague631210
4Aris Limassol61144

Group D

QSporting Lisbon632111
3Sturm Graz61144

Group E

3Union SG62228

Group F

3M. Haifa61235

Group G

QSlavia Prague650115
4Sheriff Tiraspol60151

Group H

QB. Leverkusen660018

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