‘If you cut the supply to Zlatan that’s half the battle’, Exclusive Milan preview

THE CELTIC STAR spoke exclusively to our friends at SempreMilan and they were kind enough to preview the match between the sides tonight. Oli was kind enough to give us the lowdown on how Milan will play and how they’ve been irresistible since returning to action – remaining unbeaten in 20 games.

1. What were your reactions upon seeing that Celtic and AC Milan would be facing off again?

There is something about games between Celtic and Milan that instantly evokes a certain romance, most likely because of the meetings between the two sides in the last 20 years when Milan were in a bit of a better place.

Embed from Getty Images

It is a shame that there will be no fans because the atmosphere at Celtic Park on a European night is famous for a reason, but that certainly plays more so into our hands, especially having seen how your players struggled without home backing in Saturday’s derby (sorry for bringing that up).

Embed from Getty Images

2. Which Milan players should we be looking out for?

I’m not sure if you’ve heard of him, but we have this 6ft5 Swedish striker called Zlatan Ibrahimovic who is pretty good.

On a serious note, given the injuries to Rebic and Calhanoglu if you cut off the supply to Zlatan then that’s more than half the battle.

Franck Kessie is expected to start in midfield and he is an absolute phenomenon. He will be literally everywhere to the extent you will be baffled how he keeps popping up.

3. What has been the foundation of Milan’s recent resurgence?

The cohesiveness of the team is so so important and not enough is being said about the simplicity of our approach. We play a 4-2-3-1, defend compact, press high then batter teams on the counter with pace. There isn’t really much more to it, and there are still teams that in my honest opinion do it better than us.

Embed from Getty Images

However, credit must be given to Pioli for being as much a psychiatrist as a head coach in a difficult period as well as experienced heads like Ibrahimovic and Kjaer – those are the guys who have steadied the ship. After years of suffering, we are just riding the wave!

4. What kind of a game are you expecting between the two sides and how do you think Lennon will set up?

I think given the selection problems for both sides it will cagey. I would expect Celtic to sit deep as a unit and invite us on then try hit us on the break, but really we tend to play for the quick breaks and to try seize the moments of disorganisation too. I just hope there’s goals.

Embed from Getty Images

5. Finally, a prediction for your starting XI and for the full-time score.

Rebic is still recovering from a dislocated elbow while the Calhanoglu sprained his ankle in training on Tuesday, which will force Pioli into some changes across the forward line. Leo Duarte is unlikely to feature as he has just returned from Coronavirus, while Matteo Gabbia is still testing positive and Mateo Musacchio is still recovering from surgery.

Donnarumma should be in net with Davide Calabria, Simon Kjaer, Alessio Romagnoli and Theo Hernandez the back four. Sandro Tonali will partner Kessie in midfield, with Alexis Saelemaekers on the right, Rafael Leao on the left and Zlatan Ibrahimovic up front, but Brahim will step in for Calhanoglu in behind him.

DON’T MISS THIS…Photo Exclusive – The Demolition and Rebuilding of Celtic Park plus Scotland’s Forgotten Clubs

About Author

Born just as Celtic were stopping the Ten, Lubo98 follows Celtic home and away and helps run his local Celtic Supporters Club. He goes to all the games and is a Law Graduate. Has a particular fondness for Tom Rogic among the current Celts and both Lubo and Henrik form his earliest Celtic memories.

Comments are closed.