Ibrahimovic’s partner: 4 options for Pioli

AC Milan coach Stefano Pioli has four options to choose the partner of Zlatan Ibrahimovic in attack for derby against Inter.

Stefano Pioli studies the ideal formation for next Saturday’s derby. Inter vs Milan is a fundamental match that can impact the rest of the season, as well as a very heartfelt game for the Milanese environment.

One thing is certain: Zlatan Ibrahimovic will be on the pitch from the first minute. Today the Swedish striker resumed training with the rest of the squad will surely lead AC Milan’s attack against their bitter rivals. But the question that Pioli is asking himself these days is another: who will be Ibra’s partner in attack?

According to Corriere dello Sport, the starting eleven against Inter seems almost certain. But Pioli has yet to decide who to deploy as left winger, in the role that was usually occupied by Ante Rebic.

The Croatian, who has not recovered yet, would be the owner of the left flank. His way of starting wide on the left and then joining Ibrahimovic inside the penalty area created a lot of problems for the opposing defenses in the last season.

Rebic has made progress but more time is needed to fully recover from the elbow dislocation suffered against Crotone. The 27-year-old winger will undergo a checkup in the next 3-4 days. If the outcome of the exams is favorable, Pioli could think of having him in the squad list for the derby.

There are three other alternatives. Pioli is tempted by the Rafael Leao option, who has had a remarkable mental and technical growth next to Ibra. Relying on the Portuguese, however, could mean making the derby formation rather offensive and unbalanced.

Otherwise he could focus on Brahim Diaz. The Spanish playmaker knows how to play well both as an attacking midfielder and as winger, so Pioli will take him into consideration also given his positive appearances in the league and with Spain U-21.

But the choice should probably fall on Alexis Saelemaekers. The Belgian jolly appears to be a conservative but balanced solution, given that he is a speedy winger with a lot of sacrifice. The former Anderlecht has also recently started scoring goals, so it is not a choice to be underestimated.

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