Europa Leauge: Zlatan Ibrahimovic is back in the Milan squad against his ex-club ManU

Superstar Zlatan Ibrahimovic missed the 1-1 first leg in the Europa League with an adductor injury. The 39-year-old has reported fit again for the second leg.

5.30 p.m., March 17, 2021

In the first leg, AC Milan came late to equalize © AP

The hit of the last sixteen Europe League promises great excitement in the second leg too. If AC Milan and Manchester United meet on Thursday (9 p.m. / live Puls 4, DAZN) in Milan, after the 1-1 draw in the first leg, neither team is the clear favorite. In contrast to the first meeting last week, Milans is a living striker legend Zlatan Ibrahimovic against his ex-club (2016 to 2018).

Due to an adductor injury in his thigh, Ibrahimovic had missed four games, including the first leg in the Europa Leauge. On Monday, the 39-year-old, who is back in Sweden after around five years of absence, returned to Milan team training. “His return to the squad is important to us, but it is clear that he cannot play over 90 minutes,” said the Milan coach Stefano Pioli. Without Ibrahimovic, Milan had only won one game.

There are coaches on United’s side Ole Gunnar Solskjaer with goalie David De Gea, Paul Pogba, Edinson Cavani and Donny van de Beek important actors available in contrast to last week. Striker too Anthony Martial should after his break at 1-0 against West Ham be there again at the weekend.

For Manchester United only the title counts

“It’s a huge game for us and I’m positive and optimistic,” said United attacker Marcus Rashford. “We showed in the first leg that we can do well under difficult circumstances. We want to show a dominant performance.” The ascent is intended for the – hopelessly behind Manchester city lying – second table of Premier League but only the first step: “Anything other than winning the Europa League would not make us happy,” said Rashford.

The late equalizer brought through in the first leg Simon Kjaer (92.) the English passing through Amad Diallo (50th) scored to get a better starting position. Milan can feel at least as a slight favorite thanks to the away goal. Also statistically: Milan has prevailed four times in five knockout duels with United, but the last comparison almost exactly eleven years ago went to the English for the first time in the CL round of 16.

Despite the good performance in the first leg, the current form speaks against Milan. In Serie A, the deficit on leaders Inter is after the 0: 1 against Napoli already increased to nine points on Sunday. Only two wins in the last nine competitive games. The Europa League could be the last chance for the title for Stefano Pioli’s side.

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