CM: Milan boss Pioli ready to change system again after Ibrahimovic’s injury – the new XI

By Oliver Fisher -

AC Milan head coach Stefano Pioli will be forced to change his approach once again after Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s injury, a report claims.

According to Calciomercato.com, the Swede will undergo tests on Tuesday to understand the real extent of the injury which he picked up during Monday’s training session, but it is clear that the Rossoneri will have to do without the centre-forward for at least a month.

This forces Pioli to change strategy again, and the weight of the attack will be all on the shoulders of Rafael Leao. The Portuguese starlet will in fact be the only striker available to his boss, and although Ante Rebic has played up front before he has always done it in a pairing.

Daniel Maldini is not suited to the role and the club see him as a playmaking trequarista moving forward, so it will all be down to the former Lille star who will have to reverse the trend of the first part of the season.

The 20-year-old obviously plays as a different striker when compared to Ibrahimovic, something Samu Castillejo and Rebic will have to consider.

Leao prefers to use his speed to wander across the offensive line, a solution that would clash with the idea of playing as a No.9 in a 4-2-3-1 which requires a fixed point of attack, with the No.10 doing the roaming.

That’s why Pioli could also opt for a change of formation and the return to a 4-3-3. Castillejo and Rebic would be on the wings, Leao in the centre with Calhanoglu, Kessie, Paquetà and Bonaventura all fighting for the two other spots in midfield (Ismael Bennacer has the regista spot nailed down).

Milan awaits the outcome of Zlatan’s exams, but Pioli prepares.


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Tags AC Milan Zlatan Ibrahimovic