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Pre-Season Preview: AC Milan

We profile another of Everton's potential summer opponents.

Pre-Season Preview: AC Milan
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Everton face three of seven other clubs in the International Champions Cup this summer.

Roberto Martinez will take his squad across to America for the eight-team tournament at the end of July - and one of their potential opponents is AC Milan.

Here we take a closer look at the Rossoneri.

Name: AC Milan
 
When do we play them? There is a possibility we could face Italian giants AC Milan in the Championship round of the International Champions Cup on August 6 or 7.
 
Where? The game is in Miami at the Sun Life Stadium, the home of the Miami Dolphins American Football team.
 
How can I watch it? Tickets are available here. If you can't make it across the pond, stay tuned to evertonfc.com to learn how the game will be broadcast.
 
Who’s their boss?
Massimiliano Allegri. He spent the majority of his playing career in the lower leagues of Italy before moving into management. His big break came in 2010 when he left Cagliari to take charge at the San Siro and he led the Rossoneri to the Serie A title in his first season at the helm.
 
Who’s their best player? Mario Balotelli. Super Mario may be known for his activities away from the pitch as much as on the pitch but he has hit the ground running since signing for Milan.
 
Italian journalist and Serie A expert Tancredi Palmeri says: “Milan achieved Champions League football and that was especially thanks to Balotelli who was signed in January.”
 
Mario Balotelli

Who’s their unsung hero? Riccardo Montolivo. The Italian international, 28, has become an integral part of Milan’s midfield since signing from Fiorentina last summer. Montolivo is known for his creativity and passing and finished last season with four goals.
 
How did they get on last season? It was the start of a new era at Milan last campaign following the big name departures of Alessandro Nesta, Clarence Seedorf and Zlatan Ibrahimovic to name a few. Allegri’s side finished the season fifteen points behind champions Juventus in third place and were knocked out of the Champions League by Barcelona in the quarter finals.
 
Any Everton connections? Former Everton players Jesper Blomqvist and Philippe Senderos have both spent time with the Italian giants. The Swedish winger made 20 appearances for the Rossoneri in the 1990s and Senderos spent the season on loan with Milan in 2008-09 before returning to parent club Arsenal.
 
Have we played them before?
The teams have met in the UEFA Cup during the 1975-76 season. Milan came out on top after winning 1-0 on aggregate with Egidio Calloni scoring from the penalty spot.
 
What does the expert say about them?
Palmeri can see a change in style from Milan ahead of the new season following their third place finish in the league. The Rossoneri managed to hold off Fiorentina for the final Champions League place and with a few more signings Palmeri can see them progressing.
 
He says: “The manager made a few mistakes last season which are still in the mind of Berlusconi. I can see a huge twist because Berlusconi wants a creative way to play which is always a mark of Milan under his ownership. I expect one or two new signings in defence for Milan because that is in the area of squad that need strengthening.”

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