MILAN, ITALY - AUGUST 17: Riccardo Montolivo (C) of AC Milan celebrates his second goal with his team-mates during the UEFA Europa League Qualifying Play-Offs round first leg match between AC Milan and KF Shkendija 79 at Stadio Giuseppe Meazza on August 17, 2017 in Milan, Italy. (Photo by Marco Luzzani/Getty Images)

AC Milan are the leaders of Group D, with six points after the first two matches. AEK Athens are second, two points behind.

 

Flashscore presents the key facts before the match:

AC Milan come into this game having lost 3 of their last 4 games. Their previous fixture was the Milan derby, in which they lost 3-2 to Inter Milan in a hard fought game which went all the way to the wire.

This game sees Group D’s top 2 teams battling it out. AEK can move above AC Milan with a win, but a win for Milan will put them in pole position to win the group at this relatively early stage of the tournament.

Many years have passed since the last meeting of these 2 at the San Siro, which was in the EL group stage of the ‘06/’07 season. Milan lost the away fixture in a close 1-0 game, but won the return leg by a 3-0 margin.

AC Milan’s summer spending spree has seen their squad value rocket to above 10 times that of AEK Athens’. (AEK squad value: £28.94m; AC Milan squad value: £306.72m – Transfermarkt).

AC Milan manager Vincenzo Montella is known for rotating his team, although in this case Milan are expected to go all guns blazing in front of a home crowd versus their closest rivals in Group D.

The Rossoneri (Milan) came within seconds of dropping 2 points in the previous round vs Rijeka before youth academy product Patrick Crutone popped up with the winner in the 4th minute of injury time. They will hope not to leave it so late this time around.

 

Missing players

AC Milan: A. Conti (knee injury), A. Romagnoli (injury), I. Abate (doubtful), L. Antonelli (muscle injury), N. Kalinic (groin injury)

AEK Athens: V. Barkas (doubtful), D. Chygrynskiy (doubtful), G. Giakoumakis (doubtful), K. Lambropoulos (doubtful).