AC Milan head coach Stefano Pioli has made multiple changes to his starting line-up to face Genoa compared to the team that took to the field against Sassuolo at the weekend.
Pioli will use what many would consider to be his strongest defence with Pierre Kalulu coming in for Alessandro Florenzi at right-back, Simon Kjaer and Fikayo Tomori (back from injury and in for the suspended Romagnoli) the centre-backs and Theo Hernandez at left-back in front of Mike Maignan.
There is a double change in midfield too with Franck Kessie and Sandro Tonali coming in, with Ismael Bennacer out due to an inner ear infection and Tiemoue Bakayoko on the bench.
The attack is comprised of Rade Krunic left wing while Junior Messias get his first start on the right, with Brahim Diaz acting as the playmaker behind Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
Official Milan XI (4-2-3-1): Maignan; Kalulu, Kjaer, Tomori, Theo Hernandez; Kessie, Tonali; Messias, Diaz, Krunic; Ibrahimovic.
Bench: Mirante, Tătărușanu; Ballo-Touré, Conti, Florenzi, Gabbia; Bakayoko, Saelemaekers; Leão, Maldini, Pellegri.
Official Genoa XI (3-5-2): Sirigu; Vanheusden, Masiello, Vasquez; Ghiglione, Sturaro, Badelj, Rovella, Cambiaso; Bianchi, Ekuban.
Bench: Marchetti, Semper; Bani, Biraschi, Sabelli; Behrami, Galdames, Hernani, Portanova, Touré; Buksa, Pandev.
Pellegri should start this game. It’s easier to substitute him than Ibra. If the goals don’t come early and Milan is not winning, chances are Ibra will end up playing 90 mins because it is expected that he can conjure up some magic.
Ibra needs to be managed. Giroud is out. Rebic is unavailable. Pellegri is not even registered for UCL. If anything happens to Ibra during this run of games, Milan won’t have a striker for the match against Liverpool.
When Pioli doesn’t like you, there’s nothing you can do. Perhaps it has to do with what Pioli sees in the lad during training.