UEFA Champions League: Tottenham Wide Play Key Against Milan - Cartilage Free Captain

Much of the anticipation for Tottenham Hotspur's knockout round tie with Milan stemmed from seeing Gareth Bale on the Champions League stage again, but with the man who tore open Internazionle out for today's first leg at the San Siro, the focus as shifted to a more general 'how do Spurs get a result in Milan.'

The answer, according to SB Nation Tottenham Hotspur blog Cartilage Free Captain, is wide play. Last year, Milan had trouble in the knockout rounds with Manchester United's wide attackers (Antonio Valencia and Nani). This year, with Spurs having Aaron Lennon and Steven Pienaar at their disposal, CFC could see a similar match-up problem for the Rossoneri.

Between the players we have injured and Milan's strengths and weaknesses, wide play is probably where we have the best chance to put together some serious attacking threats. Milan are likely to play with three, or maybe even four central midfielders who are either two-way players or defensive minded. They have shown a willingness to play both a narrow 4-4-2 diamond and a 4-3-3, with the former formation being more common. There's often space for opposing wingers to get the ball, and Milan's fullbacks are fairly questionable. Aaron Lennon could be Spurs' key player.

Kevin McCauley, the manager of Cartilage Free Captain, has a full preview of today's match, and as would be expected from a Spurs supporter, it's laced with plenty of undue pessimism and caging. Still, the post has all the context you'll need ahead of today's first leg in Italy. You can see it, as well as the rest of SB Nation's Spurs community content, at Cartilage Free Captain.

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