Tottenham to face AC Milan in Champions League round of 16
Tottenham Hotspur will face AC Milan in the round of 16 at the 2022 Champions League next year as the Lilywhites look to overcome their inconsistent form this season to make it to the quarterfinals of the continental tournament.
Spurs were drawn against 2021-22 Serie A winners Milan in the Champions League round of 16 draw on Monday, with the two sides set to face off in two legs on Feb. 14 and March 8 next year.
Tottenham have never lost to Milan in four previous meetings, winning 1-0 with a Peter Crouch goal when they last met in the 2010-11 Champions League. On paper, Tottenham ought to be the better team this time as well, although the team’s increasing inconsistency means it is certainly not a sure thing.
Spurs currently sit in fourth place in the Premier League with eight wins, two draws and four losses so far this season, with three of those four losses coming in the last five games.
Despite a star-studded offensive lineup, Tottenham have struggled to move the ball forward and produce in front of goal, with typically deadly forwards like Richarlison and Son Heung-min rarely finding the back of the net.
Injuries have also been an issue, with a number of key players dropping out of the squad. Son is currently out following surgery on fractures to his face, although the Korean international ought to be back in the squad by February.
For Italian manager Antonio Conte, AC Milan ought to make for some very interesting opposition. Although he has never managed AC Milan directly, Conte has spent the majority of his career leading teams in Serie A, most recently managing rival Inter Milan from 2019 to 2021.
AC Milan currently sit in second place in Serie A with nine wins, two draws and two losses, trailing six points behind undefeated Napoli.
Milan finished in second place in the group stage of the Champions League with three wins, a draw and two losses, falling behind Group E leaders Chelsea, who dropped just one game.
Tottenham topped Group D with three wins two draws and one loss, dropping just one game to Sporting Lisbon.
The hottest ticket in the round of 16 draw is likely Liverpool vs. Real Madrid, a rematch of the 2021-22 Champions League final, with Real looking to repeat their success in May.
Elsewhere in the draw, RB Leipzig will take on Manchester City, Club Brugge will face Benfica, Eintracht Frankfurt will play Napoli, Borussia Dortmung will take on Chelsea, Internazionale play Porto and Paris Saint-Germain face Bayern Munich.
BY JIM BULLEY [firstname.lastname@example.org]