Before every Arsenal fixture, we’ll bring you a Scouting Report on the Gunners’ next opponents.

Former Arsenal midfielder Stewart Robson will give his pre-match view and you can get his post-match verdict in our Talking Tactics feature on Arsenal Player.

Arsène Wenger and his side face AC Milan at the San Siro on Wednesday so, to find out more, we also asked journalist Paolo Bandini for his thoughts and analysis.

Stewart Robson

"Milan have constantly changed their line-up this season due to injuries, lack of form and Allegri prioritising certain matches. However they do have key players who will surely play against Arsenal. Abate the right back is an excellent attacking full back who also recovers well when Milan lose possession. Thiago Silva is the perfect centre half apart from one aspect. He is fast, can read danger and is good on the ball. Yet when faced with defending crosses he can be vulnerable.

"At the weekend against Udinese, the inconsistent Robinho played up front with El Sharawy while Seedorf played in the hole behind them. Seedorf lacks athleticism but he can still open up defences with his passing range. If, like their previous visit to Milan, Arsenal play at a high tempo, the game could have too much intensity for Seedorf and co."

Scouting Report - Tactics

"Massimiliano Allegri almost always plays a 4-3-1-2 formation. It is a diamond midfield essentially, but really they have quite a functional midfield three - assuming Alberto Aquilani is still unavailable - of Mark van Bommel, Massimo Ambrosini and Antonio Nocerino. They are ball winners and ball protectors really but not very creative. In front of that, normally it would be Kevin Prince-Boateng behind the front two of Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Robinho.

"Milan line up quite narrowly because they don't have any real wingers. Ibrahimovic tends to drift a bit, but fundamentally it is a narrow formation and they are much more likely to play through the middle than put in crosses from out wide. Their lack of width is a real issue. Not having wide players in midfield or up front exposes them if you can get fast players out wide to run at their full backs. In terms of their full backs, a lot of Italians have been saying Ignazio Abate has really come on as a player, but I'm not so sure. I think he has been made to look OK by playing in a decent team with strong centre backs, in Alessandro Nesta and Thiago Silva, but they are vulnerable on the outside.

"Ibrahimovic is always the dangerman for Milan and that is part of the problem. When people talk about him struggling in Europe, I think a significant part of that is down to the fact that teams know that if you close down Ibrahimovic you don't have too many other players to worry about. MIlan also signed Maxi Lopez at the end of the transfer window, and he scored last weekend. He was a real second-choice player as they were trying to sign Carlos Tevez, but he is an effective enough poacher. Milan can be a bit reliant on Ibrahimovic. Robinho, although he has been a very good player for them, doesn't score too many and has developed a habit of missing sitters. The other player is Alexandre Pato, but I am not sure he will be fit. His goalscoring record has been patchy this season, but he knows where the goal is.

"I think the first leg will be a 1-1 draw. If you had asked me for a prediction when the draw was made, I would very possibly have picked a Milan win but in the last few weeks they have been quite bad. They will raise their game for Wednesday night but recently they have not been as good as they have been."

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    15 Feb 2012