How AC Milan could line up in the return leg against Juventus amid suspensions

By Isak Möller -

In just over two weeks, AC Milan will take on Juventus away from home in the Coppa Italia semi-final second leg. After the first encounter finished 1-1, the Rossoneri have a tough challenge ahead. 

The Rossoneri will have to get on the scoresheet to have any chance of going through, although that’s never been an easy thing to do at Allianz Stadium. Furthermore, Samu Castillejo, Theo Hernandez and Zlatan Ibrahimovic will be suspended for the game.

Therefore, Stefano Pioli will have to make some changes to his usual starting XI, which will be interesting to see. In defence, Diego Laxalt should start on the left-hand side to cover for the suspended Frenchman.

It also remains to be seen if Mateo Musacchio and Simon Kjaer will be fit for the game. Should they fail to make it, then Matteo Gabbia – who made his league debut last time out – will start alongside Alessio Romagnoli.

As per usual, Franck Kessie and Ismael Bennacer should form the midfield tandem, having been a successful duo in the last few weeks. Against Juve, they will need to be on top form, just like in the first leg.

Alexis Saelemaekers could be a surprise in the lineup, potentially replacing Castillejo on the right. However, Pioli could also decide to go with Hakan Calhanoglu or Jack Bonaventura for this position.

As you can tell, the choices in attack will have a domino effect on the selection. Although Calhanoglu will most likely start in the middle of the trio, he could be placed on the right, paving the way for Lucas Paqueta to start behind the striker.

Speaking of the striker, Ante Rebic will most likely be the man to replace Ibrahimovic. The Croatian has been very successful on the left flank, but can also play in a more central role. Rafael Leao is also a contender for Ibra’s spot.

Possible Milan XI (4-2-3-1): Donnarumma; Calabria, Gabbia (Musacchio), Romagnoli, Laxalt; Kessie, Bennacer; Saelemaekers, Calhanoglu, Leao; Rebic.

READ MORE: Rating the difficulty of AC Milan’s next five games in all competitions

Tags AC Milan Coppa Italia Juventus