AC Milan receive important double boost ahead of Champions League clash with Liverpool
AC Milan receive double boost ahead of Liverpool clash
With Champions League group stage play set to kick off next week, AC Milan will be bolstered with confidence ahead of their tricky opening clash against Liverpool at Anfield with the news that both Zlatan Ibrahimović and Franck Kessié have been declared fit for duty.
I Rossoneri have started the Serie A campaign well thus far, posting two wins from two while scoring five total goals in their outings against UC Sampdoria, and Cagliari Calcio, and are now set to return to Europe’s premier club competition against a Liverpool outfit who are looking for a resurgence of their own.
But those credible opening performances have been without both Ibrahimović and Kessié, and their return to full-fitness should see the pair immediately in contention to feature from the off in Stefano Pioli’s preferred XI.
🎙️ Clarence #Seedorf to #Tuttosport:
“AC #Milan is building something solid, with the right mix of young and experienced players. #Ibrahimovic and #Giroud can lead them and make them grow a lot”. pic.twitter.com/MOjadwcmvT
— Milan Posts (@MilanPosts) September 9, 2021
There is a particular buzz around Ibrahimović, who many expect Pioli to utilize in a center-forward duo with summer addition Olivier Giroud, who has started his spell in Milan brightly to the tune of two goals against Cagliari. The divisive Swede may already be included in the Milan team this weekend to face SS Lazio at the San Siro on Sunday with Giroud having recently tested positive for Covid-19. Should he come through unscathed, Ibrahimović will surely feature against Liverpool on Tuesday night.
Reds receive their own boost ahead of Premier League weekend
After the international break nearly saw Liverpool bereft of influential center-back Virgil van Dijk, boss Jürgen Klopp gave a valuable update on the Dutchman’s fitness ahead of their weekend clash with Leeds United at Elland Road, with Van Dijk being declared “200 percent fit” ahead of proceedings.
Van Dijk has been an obvious sight for sore eyes with his return to his role in Klopp’s Liverpool side this season as the Reds look to push their Premier League rivals further than last term, having completed 90-minute appearances in all three of the clubs league fixtures to begin the season.
Despite the acquisition of Ibrahima Konaté from RB Leipzig this summer, Van Dijk remains the undisputed focal point in the Liverpool backline, and the re-establishment of his partnership with Joel Matip has already paid off as the Reds have allowed just one goal in three thanks to a 1-1 draw with Chelsea before the international break.