AC Milan are looking to get a number of key players back for Thursday’s Europa League showdown with Manchester United.
As we reported earlier this week, Theo Hernandez, Ante Rebic, Hakan Calhanoglu, and Jens Petter Hauge were all in the matchday squad on Sunday which took on Napoli, with two starting and two coming off the bench. All four missed the first leg against United.
Milan are also hoping midfielder Ismael Bennacer will be fit to play some involvement too, but the biggest difference maker would be top scorer Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
Ibrahimovic trained on Monday for the first time since his injury, which was suffered days after the Europa League last 16 draw was made.
TMW reports Ibrahimovic did half the session doing individual training drills and the other half with the rest of the first team.
The report states: “The Swede will try to grit his teeth to return to Stefano Pioli’s disposal.”
The striker would no doubt prefer to have an extra week to recover, but these are the types of games Zlatan would push himself for.
Ibrahimovic is now 39 and this is likely his only chance to play against former club United before retirement eventually comes. It’s a decisive second leg with everything to play for.
Whether he is fit enough to start or not, Zlatan appears to be on course to be part of Milan’s matchday squad for Thursday, barring a late setback.
With Milan being at home, they can leave the decision until the last moment, rather than having to rule whether he should travel a day or two earlier.
Cavani battling to be ready too
Edinson Cavani is hoping to be passed fit to feature for United. He’s yet to return to training.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer named Cavani as one of five extra players who could be available for United this week who missed the weekend game, and having the Uruguayan starting would certainly give the team’s attack a more dangerous edge.
Cavani is five years younger than Zlatan and knows him well from their time at PSG. Cavani was often upstaged by Ibrahimovic in Paris, and he should be determined to be the one grabbing the headlines on Thursday night.
- Next Manchester United manager: Four replacements if Solskjaer is sacked
- Cristiano Ronaldo sends message to Manchester United fans after defeat
- David de Gea sends strong message to Manchester United fans
- Jesse Lingard clarifies what happened with Manchester United fan
- Bastian Schweinsteiger reacts to Manchester United’s defeat to Liverpool
- ‘Paul Scholes was right’… United fans react to Liverpool defeat
- Solskjaer reacts to United’s 5-0 defeat to Liverpool
- Harry Maguire reacts to United’s 5-0 defeat to Liverpool
- Manchester United’s three worst players against Liverpool
- Sir Alex Ferguson fumes as Manchester United hammered by Liverpool