After salvaging a win against Sampdoria over the weekend, Milan take on Dinamo Zagreb at San Siro in an early kick-off on Wednesday evening.
While Stefano Pioli’s side started their Champions League 2022/23 season with a 1-1 stalemate against Red Bull Salzburg, Zagreb accomplished an upset, beating Chelsea 1-0 on the former’s home soil. As a result, the team from Croatia now tops the respective group.
In terms of recent results, Milan have been undefeated across all competitions. But when it comes to Zagreb, they are on a six-match winning run.
Results in the last five matches across all competitions:
Dinamo Zagreb: W-W-W-W-W
Plagued by injuries, Milan will miss Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Ante Rebic, Alessandro Florenzi, and Divock Origi. The injury crisis has already made their attack weak. Thus, it could be the trio of Alexis Saelemaekers, Rafael Leão, and Olivier Giroud leading the line, with Charles De Ketelaere backing them with his creative nous.
As per the reports, Ante Čačić doesn’t have any injury issues to deal with ahead of the trip to Milan. Mislav Oršić, who scored the decisive goal against Chelsea the other night, should start the game against the Rossoneri on Wednesday.
Milan (4-2-3-1): Maignan; Calabria, Tomori, Kalulu, Theo Hernandez; Tonali, Bennacer; Saelemaekers, De Ketelaere, Leão; Giroud.
Dinamo Zagreb (3-5-2): Livakovic; Ristovski, Sutalo, Peric; Moharrami, Ademi, Misic, Ivanusec, Ljubicic; Orsic, Petkovic.
Zagreb will enter new territory with much anticipation. Considering the game seems winnable, Milan should look to lock the three points. But anything else could be fatal as the Croat’s doings against Chelsea have already led to the sacking of one manager. Although Pioli doesn’t have a knife edge pointing toward him, the Scudetto-winning manager would like to secure a victory in front of the home crowd. It will be beneficial for the rest of their Champions League group stage.
GIFN | Jyotirmoy Halder