AC Milan Lacking Firepower Ahead of Manchester United Clash

AC Milan will be without a few major stars during Thursday’s Europa League fixture against Manchester United. The tie in itself was shaping up to be fantastic – a battle of two of Europe’s sleeping giants – but Milan’s injury crisis hit at the worst time possible. Milan lacking firepower could be a huge setback for the Italian side.

AC Milan Lacking Firepower for Manchester United Tie

Players Out for AC Milan

Theo Hernandez will be absent in the defence. Not only is he strong defensively, but he also adds a lot to Milan going forward. When Hernandez is on his game, when is often, he’s essentially an extra winger going forward. He has a terrific long-range shot, crossing abilities, and elite pace. Diogo Dalot, a United loanee, will likely take his place.

The midfield will be without Ismael Bennacer and Hakan Calhanoglu. These two are the cogs for Milan going forward, dictating the style of play as well as creating endless chances. The attack will be quite barren without the duo, as it has been the last few matchdays. Bennacer and Calhanoglu are made for matches like this, but unfortunately won’t be participating.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Ante Rebic, and Mario Mandzukic are all out in the attack. Ibrahimovic’s loss speaks for itself as he’s the team’s leading scorer as well as the main leader. He’s also a former United man. His absence makes Milan’s attack lack any excitement. Rebic is a tough winger who plays hard until the final whistle. A player of his grit and heart would have been ideal. Lastly, Mandzukic being out meaning Milan must turn to an unconventional striker.

The Projected Line-Up

The defence should be the usual players, without Hernandez of course. This includes Gianluigi Donnarumma, Davide Calabria, Simon Kjaer, Alessio Romagnoli, and Dalot playing as the replacement left-back.

Franck Kessie could be the engine of the team in the midfield, to no surprise. His partner in the double pivot will likely be Soualiho Meïté. Meïté has been fairly inconsistent since arriving in January, so his performance will be under a microscope.

The two wingers are likely to be Alexis Saelemaekers and Brahim Diaz. Saelemakers is a usual starter, and the youngster Diaz will have another chance to shine. He needs to be brilliant for Milan to get a result.

Calhanoglu’s replacement could be Rade Krunic. He isn’t as gifted technically but is coming off a superb performance versus Hellas Verona.

Lastly, Rafael Leão should be the starting striker. The youngster has all the talent in the world but is also inconsistent. Tonight will be his chance to prove that he’s ready to take his game to the next level.

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