Europa League Matchday 5: Milan – Celtic
On matchday 4 Milan were unable to exact revenge on Lille for the 3-0 home defeat suffered on matchday 3. However the 1-1 tie, though disappointing, had good moments and showed that Milan remain on track without big absences that included Ibra.
Ibra is recuperating from his hamstring problem but could be back earlier than expected and as early as next week. Leao could be back next week as well. On the subject of come backs Pioli and Murelli have gotten the all clear as well. Having tested negative for the Coronavirus both will be on the sidelines and Bonera’s interim reign stands at three solid matches.
To advance to the knock stage of the Europa League Milan need to beat the struggling Celtic while Lille do the same to Sparta Prague. It would be a bonus if matchday 6 is relatively meaningless – although finishing first in group has its advantages.
The starting 11 could be slightly less predictable as most would expect improving Tonali to get another chance to adapt after starting and doing well vs Fiorentina. Somewhat surprisingly some claims have Krunic starting with Kessie instead. Up front Rebic, Diaz, Hauge, Saelemaekers and Calhanoglu are the candidates for starts. Castillejo is nursing a minor injury and is set to miss out. The back four could finally see Kjaer get a much deserved break with Gabbia providing relief to the surprising Danish defender. Donnarumma will play in goal, is finally nearing an extension – to 2024 – and will remain a Milan player for a long time if statements of affection are to be believed.
As mentioned Celtic have been struggling domestically and in deed in the Europa League. The Bhoys sit 11 points behind Rangers – albeit with two games in hand – in the Scottish Premiership. This past weekend Neil Lennon’s men also lost 0-2 to Ross County in the League Cup.
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