The group stage of the Europa League will again result in some remarkable confrontations this season. For example, the Luxembourg national champion Dudelange can take on the field on Thursday night against none other than AC Milan. The fallen superpower has been in heavy weather for years and may be pleased that it is active in the Europa League at all.
Dudelange may be a superpower in his own country, but because the Luxembourg National Division is in fact no more than a glorified amateur competition, that does not mean much. Until recently, the most famous player was former RKC and Roda JC attacker Aurelio Joachim, but he moved to Lierse last summer.
Dudelange is a purse of football, but that did not stop the team from writing football history. Thanks to victories over Mol Vidi (3-2 over two games), Drita (3-2 over two matches), Legia Warsaw (4-3 over two matches) and CFR Cluj (5-2 over two games), the BLACKGROBS set themselves up as very first Luxembourg club ever for a European main tournament. The duel against AC Milan is of course the game of their lives for the men of trainer Dino Toppmöller. The tiny Stade Jos Nosbaum will be sold out with 2.500 spectators.
On the basis of her rich club history, AC Milan is and remains an absolute superpower. With eighteen international top prizes, the Italians may call themselves the second-most successful club ever, just behind the Egyptian Al Ahly, which leads the ranking with fifteen international trophies.
However, the recent achievements of the Milanese are completely out of step with those from the times of players like Marco van Basten and Paolo Maldini. The last European grand prize dates from more than eleven years ago and with only one Scudetto in the last fourteen years, the Rossoneri also lost the battle in their own country. Also this season, with only four points from the first three league matches, it does not really want rafts. Gonzalo Higuain was presented at the San Siro this summer as the great addition, but with only one goal, the Argentinian has not yet reached his old form. The chance that he will kick off on Thursday-evening in Luxembourg is small. Trainer Gennaro Gattuso will probably rotate and will therefore primarily rely on his reserves.
PREDICTION: Both teams to score / YES @ 1.88