How Milan should line-up vs. Sparta Praha – six changes from Roma draw; rest for Zlatan

By Oliver Fisher -

AC Milan will be looking to make it two wins from two to kick off their Europa League group stage campaign when they face Sparta Praha at San Siro.

Head coach Stefano Pioli will be missing a number of players against as Matteo Gabbia, Gianluigi Donnarumma and Jens Petter Hauge all have Coronavirus while Mateo Musacchio is injured, and there are concerns over the fitness of Leo Duarte and Ante Rebic, though both are training again.

Below is how we think the Rossoneri should line up…

Goalkeeper: Ciprian Tatarusanu.

With Donnarumma out, this one is a bit of a no-brainer. The Romanian is clearly favoured to Antonio Donnarumma and will be looking to atone for his error against Roma on Monday night, a game in which he did make a couple of smart saves from fierce shots. A perfect game to hopefully restore some confidence.

Defence: Conti, Kjaer, Romagnoli, Dalot.

Sadly Milan are still in a position where they cannot rotate the centre-back pairing, but it does provide the captain Romagnoli with another useful game to restore his match sharpness to 100%.

In terms of the full-backs, it could be that Conti is fully fit just yet but if he is then Pioli should be looking to rotate on both flanks, especially the left side as Theo Hernandez looked almost burnt out against Roma. Dalot as we know can play left-back no problems, so that should be an easy transition.

Defensive midfield: Tonali, Bennacer.

It really is time to give Franck Kessie a rest, given the Ivorian has barely had a minute off the pitch since football resumed post-lockdown.

A pairing of Bennacer and Tonali could be quite interesting to watch as it has not been tried too much, but should in theory provide a nice mix of being combative, tenacious and being able to drive play forward.

Forwards: Castillejo, Krunic, Brahim Diaz.

It makes sense to go with the same front three that played at Celtic a week ago and basically got the job done in the first half. The ability of Brahim and Krunic to switch places will cause some confusion and the Bosnian in particular was surprisingly good in that advanced playmaker role, one he plays for his country.

As for Castillejo, we will repeat what was said against Celtic: Castillejo needs to play himself into form if he is to get himself out of a difficult moment – it won’t just magically click. This is the perfect moment to do just that against a defence Milan should be looking to target

Striker: Leao.

This notion that Ibrahimovic will be able to keep playing three games every eight days is a very risky one. As much as the Swede would like to be on the pitch and kick every ball, the league is very important at this point and he should be rested in favour of Leao, who is experiencing a great patch of form and scored a brace in his last half as a centre-forward (vs. Spezia).

Tags AC Milan Milan Sparta Praha


  1. If gabbia is fit, he should play in place of kjear, d danish defender needs rest too besides he is not young, we cant afford to see him get injured, and colombo nd maldini should play at least as subs…they need to fight as well

  2. The same line up I was thinking of playing with the only risk being the fullbacks as Conti hasn’t played at all this season

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