Next week, AC Milan will face their city rivals and fellow league leaders Inter in the first Derby della Madonnina of the season, but they might have to do so without Olivier Giroud.
The condition of Giroud still remain to be clarified after he came off during the first half of France’s win against Ireland last night with an ankle injury, and today he will undergo new tests to understand how bad a knock it is.
Our colleagues at SempreMilan.it write that if Giroud is not available to start the game then there are two options available to Stefano Pioli, plus potentially a ‘wild card pick’.
Option one: The first is perhaps the most obvious and that is choosing Noah Okafor to play up front. He arrived in the summer from Red Bull Salzburg, and while he has different physical and technical characteristics compared to the Frenchman he has played as a centre-forward.
His movement and speed would offer something different for Milan, who would not have a static focal point in attack and could therefore cause confusion for Inter’s back three with speed and dribbling in a fluid attacking trident.
Option two: Then there is Luka Jovic. The Serbian arrived from Fiorentina only on the last day of the transfer window and, unlike Okafor, has not yet taken part in a full training session with the rest of his new team-mates.
However, Jovic is the attacker closest to Giroud in terms of characteristics. He is aerially strong, physically powerful and skilled in tight spaces. He is an alternative that would not distort Milan’s way of playing but his condition and how ready he is leaves doubts.
Option three: The third and final hypothesis is the use of Christian Pulisic as a ‘false nine’. He has been a starter on the right wing in the first three outings and he is experiencing a golden moment, but could be diverted to the middle allowing Samuel Chukwueze to get his first start.
The Nigerian will among the first to return to Milanello after his international commitments and while Pulisic will be the last along with Yunus Musah, it would also guarantee a mobile and position-switching front three.