Last Thursday saw an exciting 1-1 draw between Manchester United and AC Milan at Old Trafford. This is undoubtedly the most exciting tie of the Europa League Round of 16 as it pitted two of Europe’s ‘sleeping giants’ against each other. However, Manchester United nearing full strength ahead of the second leg could be crucial with the tie level.
Speaking to BBC Sport, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer said that United may have up to “four or five” players back for the trip to Milan.
Manchester United Nearing Full Strength for AC Milan Return
Up to Five Key Players Could be Available
Martial played in the first leg but was stifled by Simon Kjaer in Milan’s defence. Cavani, however, will prove to be a difference-maker. He’s more experienced in matches of this magnitude, as well as being familiar with Serie A defences. The Uruguayan’s finishing ability is deadly, and Milan will have to be at the top of their game to prevent one single slip-up.
Marcus Rashford returned against West Ham United, so he is expected to play in Milan. Whether he lines up at striker or on the wing, Milan’s defenders will struggle to keep up. The Rossoneri will need one of Theo Hernandez or Fikayo Tomori glued to Rashford the entire match.
David de Gea being out of isolation is key as well. Kjaer’s equaliser at Old Trafford could very well have been stopped, especially by de Gea. Milan are likely to be without Zlatan Ibrahimovic once again, but either way, de Gea’s presence changes the game.
Lastly, Solskjaer is hopeful that Paul Pogba and Donny van de Beek make the trip as well. Milan’s Franck Kessie dominated the midfield in the last match, so either one of these players will make a difference.
United must put on the pressure and score, especially with their newfound health, as Milan may be comfortable defending their away-goal advantage.
Manchester United Nearing Full Strength Could be a Concern for AC Milan
With AC Milan still without several key players, the returning players for the Red Devils could be the decisive factor in the second leg.
The first fixture was evenly poised at Old Trafford but The Rossoneri will fancy their chances having scored an away goal.