Milan name 19-man squad for Manchester
AC Milan have named a 19-man squad for Thursday's Europa League round-of-16 first leg against Manchester United at Old Trafford.
Unfortunately, former Red Zlatan Ibrahimovic misses out due to injury but Diogo Dalot, who is on loan with the Serie A side, is eligible to play and expected to feature against his parent club.
The Rossoneri have selection problems as they also aim to keep tabs on leaders, and fierce rivals, Internazionale domestically.
Coach Stefano Pioli is able to call upon Chelsea loanee Fikayo Tomori, who has been impressive in defence since the move from Stamford Bridge, but he will be without a number of key individuals.
Theo Hernandez, Ismael Bennacer, Hakan Calhanoglu, Ante Rebic and Mario Mandzukic are all sidelined but there could be a chance for at least some of them, including Zlatan, returning for the second leg in Italy next Thursday.
A. Donnarumma, G. Donnarumma, Tatarusanu; Calabria, Dalot, Gabbia, Kalulu, Kjaer, Romagnoli, Tomori; Castillejo, Diaz, Kessie, Krunic, Meite, Saelemaekers, Tonali; Leao, Tonin.
STUDYING OUR SUCCESS OVER CITY
AC Milan head coach Stefano Pioli admits he was impressed by United’s commanding 2-0 victory over Manchester City, and he has analysed the display ahead of Thursday’s kick-off.
“I was very, very impressed indeed by what was a terrific performance against a fantastic City team that was on the back of 21 consecutive victories,” he explained. “The fact of the matter was that United deserved to win. They played with a huge amount of intensity and quality, so for sure I have looked at that game and we will have to learn from that.”
Asked if he is interested in keeping Diogo Dalot at the club beyond his loan spell, Pioli said: “I have to say we are really pleased with his performances and the way he is developing as a player. But to be honest with you, at the moment it is my job to focus on what is going on in Serie A and what is going on in the Europa League, so it is not really up to me to decide what his future will be when we reach the end of the season.”
A WORD FROM THE OPPOSITION
AC Milan defender Fikayo Tomori, currently on loan from Chelsea, also spoke at a press conference to preview the big game and he is unconcerned by his team's injury problems.
“It definitely gives us more motivation,” he told reporters. “Everyone in the squad wants to play and this gives a chance for that. We have players missing but that is the point of a squad, people come in and make the difference. I think we saw a little bit of that against Verona and hopefully tomorrow we can see the same thing again. I think when you play against the best teams, that brings out the best in you and hopefully we can put on a good performance.”