AC Milan v Lazio Preview: Rossoneri Looking to Extend Winning Run

AC Milan

AC Milan will host Lazio on Sunday afternoon at the San Siro. The Rossoneri are ready for their first big test of the season, with two victories already under their belt versus Sampdoria and Cagliari.

Although Milan and Lazio are two of the five teams tied with six points right now, Lazio are first in the table whereas Milan are second. Lazio’s goal difference is plus seven while Milan’s sits at plus four.

Milan have an incredibly tough slate of games standing in their way in the month of September, and it all starts with the Lazio fixture.

AC Milan v Lazio Preview

Injuries

Milan are dealing with three concerns right now, although two seem to have been put aside.

Two of the team’s top stars, Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Franck Kessie, have yet to play this season. After first-team training sessions and rest during the international break, it looks as if the duo will be back this weekend. Ibrahimovic is the team’s top goal threat. Kessie is one of the top midfielders in all of Serie A. Milan didn’t necessarily need them to start the season, but the duo will be crucial against Lazio and for the rest of this month.

Olivier Giroud is also dealing with COVID-19. The official statement from the club came on September 2, so the Frenchman will miss the Lazio fixture. Giroud scored a brace in the last match against Cagliari, and his importance while Ibrahimovic recovers from his injury cannot be overstated.

With all this being said, Giroud is the only crucial player who will not be available.

AC Milan Expected Starting 11

Mike Maignan mans the goalposts. He’s been nothing short of stellar since replacing Gianluigi Donnarumma.

The four at the back will likely be Theo Hernandez, Simon Kjaer, Fikayo Tomori, and Davide Calabria. All of these players, besides Tomori, enjoyed strong international breaks.

Kessie will likely return to the starting midfield double pivot. Although he typically plays alongside Ismael Bennacer, Italian starlet Sandro Tonali will likely get the start instead. Tonali played the last two matches brilliantly, and just finished the international break with a hat-trick of assists for the Italian U21 squad.

The three forwards behind the lone striker could feature Alexis Saelemaekers, Brahim Diaz, and Rafael Leao. Saelemakers is on hot form as well, scoring and assisting once for Belgium. Diaz has been nothing short of outstanding while replacing Hakan Calhanoglu. Lastly, Leao looks primed for a breakout season. The young trio are ready for the big stage.

Ibrahimovic could finally get the start up front. The Swede is back to full training with the squad. With so much youth around him, Ibrahimovic will not only have to be a goal scorer, but a leader as well. Everything in his past shows that he’s up to the task.

The Opponents

Lazio, although losing manager Simone Inzaghi and star Joaquin Correa to Inter Milan, are no easy task. The defence is strong with Italians such as Francesco Acerbi and Manuel Lazzari. The midfield still has stars like Sergej Milinkovic-Savic and Luis Alberto. Then, of course, Ciro Immobile features in the attack. He’ll be flanked by Pedro and Felipe Anderson.

I Biancocelesti are strong in all facets of the game. New manager Maurizio Sarri plays free-flowing attacking football, so Milan will be kept on their toes throughout the entire match.

Main Photo
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