AC Milan Without Two Stars for Milan Derby

AC Milan

AC Milan play against Inter Milan in a monumental fixture on Saturday evening. This match has implications for both the Scudetto race and the race for the top four. Milan manager Stefano Pioli, however, confirmed that Milan will be without two attacking stars in Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Ante Rebic.

Pioli said this while speaking to the media:

Zlatan and Ante are unavailable. Fikayo Tomori has worked hard and will be in the squad, but I don’t think he’ll start. Ibra’s absence is a shame but we have shown that we can do well without him. Ante picked up a knock to his ankle at the end of last week and he hasn’t recovered yet.”

AC Milan Without Two Crucial Players for Milan Derby

A Different Looking Attack

When the entire Milan squad is healthy, Ibrahimovic and Rebic are surefire starters. They’re both very experienced and tend to bring their best under the brightest lights. Missing them will be a massive blow for Milan.

The good news, however, is that Olivier Giroud and Rafael Leao are healthy. They struggled to stay on the pitch in recent weeks, but they’re good to go for this match. Naturally, they’re the two replacements for Ibrahimovic and Rebic.

Leao is playing very well this season. He’ll be counted on by the Rossoneri to provide an attacking spark. Giroud is a veteran and is always a threat to score, although it remains to be seen if he has a full 90 minutes in him in a match this big.

With the absences of Ibrahimovic and Rebic, Milan will need added toughness and creativity going forward. Franck Kessie is back from the African Cup of Nations and can feature as an attacking midfielder while Ismael Bennacer and Sandro Tonali man the midfield double-pivot. The right side of the pitch will come down to Alexis Saelemaekers and Junior Messias. Pioli will have to decide between Saelemakers’ work rate around the pitch or Messias’ attacking prowess.

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