According to Fabrizio Romano, AC Milan star striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic is set to miss their Champions League clash against Liverpool at Anfield. This is due to a problem the Swede is experiencing with his Achilles tendon.
This, of course, is a major letdown for Milan as the Rossoneri will be playing their first Champions League match in nearly seven years.
Ibrahimovic returned to the pitch this past weekend against Lazio and instantly scored a goal off the bench. His absence will surely be felt when facing the 2019 Champions League winners.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic Set to Miss Liverpool Match
Replacement and Milan Attack
The good news for Milan is that Ibrahimovic looks to be the only normal starter who will miss the match. Roberto Firmino will miss it on Liverpool’s side as well, leaving both squads without their typical starting number nine.
Milan manager Stefano Pioli uses a 4-2-3-1 formation. This means the three players and lone striker are the most instrumental in the attack. As of now, the one guaranteed starter is Brahim Diaz as the attacking midfielder.
The left-wing position will be in between Rafael Leao and Ante Rebic. Leao has two goals in his last two matches. The Portuguese forward continues to improve and is in line for a breakout season. Rebic, however, holds more experience. He finished the Lazio match with two assists, so form is also on his side.
The right-wing position is between Alexis Saelemaekers and Alessandro Florenzi. Saelemakers is younger and more of an attacking presence and is fresh off two stellar matches with the Belgium national team. Florenzi, normally a right-back, is versatile enough to play in this position too. Florenzi wins the experience battle by a landslide as well.
Olivier Giroud is the only other pure striker on Milan’s squad. He scored a brace versus Cagliari before the international break, but then tested positive for COVID-19. He’s cleared to play but hasn’t featured for a couple of weeks now. Giroud, obviously, holds vast Champions League experience. As a former Chelsea and Arsenal player, he also knows Liverpool quite well.
Rebic, however, can also feature as a lone striker as opposed to a winger. This is Milan’s other option. The decision is in Pioli’s hands.