Tottenham vs AC Milan Picks and Predictions: Low-Scoring Affair

Don't expect many goals on Wednesday when Tottenham and AC Milan meet for the second leg of their Champions League clash. Our Champions League picks explain why the first half will likely be scoreless.

Last Updated: Mar 8, 2023 12:07 PM ET Read Time: 4 min
Harry Kane Tottenham Hotspur Champions League
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Two teams desperate to reach the quarterfinals of the Champions League will take to the pitch on Wednesday, as AC Milan defends a narrow aggregate advantage against Tottenham in London.

A win or a draw for Milan will get the Rossoneri into the final eight of the competition for the first time in more than a decade. Meanwhile, Spurs need to win by a goal to force extra time, while a multi-goal victory would see them through.

This matchup is filled with storylines, including a showdown between two Italian managers facing lots of questions from their supporters and hoping to relieve some pressure with a win. Can Milan maintain their stellar record after winning the first leg of a knockout tie? Or will Tottenham keep their fourth consecutive home clean sheet?

We break it all down in our Tottenham vs AC Milan free Champions League picks and predictions for Wednesday, March 7.

Tottenham vs AC Milan best odds

Tottenham vs AC Milan picks and predictions

Tottenham won’t be thrilled after the first leg of this knockout tie following Milan’s lone goal from Brahim Diaz in the seventh minute after two saves from keeper Fraser Forster. In fact, three of Milan’s four shots on goal for the entire match came in that five-second sequence, as Tottenham frustrated the Rossoneri the rest of the night.

Speaking of frustrated, that must be how Harry Kane felt. Tottenham’s star man managed just one shot on the night, failing to contribute to his side’s paltry three efforts on target. He wasn’t alone though, as neither Heung-Min Son or Dejan Kulusevski were able to test Milan’s keeper either.

Finishing has been a bit of an issue for Spurs lately. Their 1-0 defeat at Wolves on Saturday was the second straight match in which they failed to score a goal. Just six of their 21 attempts were on target, and that followed a 1-0 defeat to Sheffield United in the FA Cup when just four of their 17 shots were put on frame.

Even when they have scored lately, it’s taken them a bit. Their 2-0 wins over Chelsea and West Ham both went into the halftime break as scoreless draws, and they’ve failed to score during the first half of their last five matches. Their 4-1 defeat to Leicester, days before these two teams played for the first time, was actually the last match in which Tottenham found the back of the net in the opening 45 minutes.

It’s been a bit of a similar story for Milan. Stefano Pioli’s side hasn't been able to manufacture goals lately, scoring just six in their last six outings. Their only goal against Fiorentina in a shock 2-1 defeat over the weekend was a stoppage-time rocket from Theo Hernandez, which was nothing more than a consolation prize.

One of those goals was also an own goal scored in the first half of their 2-0 win over Atalanta. That goal is one of just three first-half goals over Milan’s last five matches, one of which was the Diaz goal against Spurs. They haven't allowed a first-half goal during that span, either. There's now even more security at the back with star keeper Mike Maignan in goal again.

With Spurs needing just one goal at home, they’re going to be leery of pushing too much early on and Milan striking back through their pace on the counter-attack. The visitors will want to avoid getting blitzed, just as they have a few times away from home over the past several months. They'll also need to avoid Maignan getting peppered, which was the case at times against Fiorentina.

Second-leg matches tend to be quite cagy in the opening 45 minutes. There were just seven first-half goals scored during the eight clashes in the 2022 Round of 16, and three of those came from Bayern Munich in their 7-1 thrashing of Red Bull Salzburg.

I expect a similar outcome here, and the price of +200 is far too good to pass up. Throw in the cold and wet conditions, and I don’t see this being a free-flowing affair. Take Under 0.5 goals in the first half, a result we’ve seen in four of Tottenham’s last six matches at home.

My best bet: First half Under 0.5 goals (+200 at FanDuel)

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Tottenham vs AC Milan moneyline analysis

This is a very tricky match to handicap on the three-way moneyline. Spurs have won three straight matches at home, and four of their last five. But they’ve also won just two of their last six matches overall, and the club has evenly split its last 14 outings.

Antonio Conte returns to the bench again following surgery and recovery in Italy, and he'll be without Eric Dier due to a suspension. Forster will be in goal with Hugo Lloris still injured, while midfielders Yves Bissouma and Rodrigo Bentancur are also out.

Pioli will hope Milan’s away form improves fast. The Rossoneri have lost three of four away matches, though one came on their home pitch against Inter. They’ve won just once in their last four true road matches, and have logged only two wins in seven. Overall, their defeat to Fiorentina ended a four-match winning spell.

Diaz will likely not repeat his heroics from the first leg, as he’s doubtful with a knee sprain. However, this is the healthiest Milan have been since the start of the season, and Rafael Leao will return to the side after serving a suspension.

Spurs are favored quite a bit, offering value for those who believe Milan can secure a result. The double chance leads to solid value for Milan backers, while those who believe Spurs will win might want to play them to advance at +135 instead of the moneyline, keeping in mind that extra time could be in the cards.

Tottenham vs AC Milan Over/Under analysis

The Total of 2.5 goals is shaded a bit toward the Under, offering a decent price on either side of the line. Tottenham matches have been ATMs for Under bettors over the past month, with two goals or fewer being scored in 10 of their 14 affairs in 2023. They’ve also not allowed a goal against in their last seven halves played at Tottenham Stadium.

It’s been a similar story for Milan. Their 2-1 loss to Fiorentina ended a five-match run of Unders, and there was a single goal scored in four of those matches. The team recorded four straight Overs prior to that, and a run of seven Overs in eight matches. But the Over has been the play in 10 of their last 13 away from the confines of the San Siro.

These two sides have met five times, including friendlies. Every meeting has finished with two or fewer goals, with four of those outings featuring a single marker. This one could truly go either way.

Avoid the total in this contest, unless you're playing it live and seeing how the two teams approach the first half.

Tottenham vs AC Milan game info

Location: Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, Tottenham, England
Date: Wednesday, March 8, 2023
Time: 3:00 p.m. ET
TV: Paramount+

Tottenham vs AC Milan key injuries

Tottenham: Brahim Diaz F (Questionable)
AC Milan: Hugo Lloris G (Out), Rodrigo Bentancur M (Out), Eric Dier D (Out), Yves Bissouma M (Out)

Tottenham vs AC Milan weather

Fans and players are in for a bit of a miserable day on Wednesday. Rain and snow are expected throughout the day, and temperatures at kickoff will be near freezing. There’s a decent chance of precipitation throughout the evening, but freezing rain is likely toward the later stages of the match. That would impact extra time and penalties if needed.

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