The 2020-21 edition of the Europa League continues this week with the second qualifying round, and in an intriguing match, Italian giants AC Milan travel to Ireland to take on Shamrock Rovers.
Milan’s 2019-20 campaign was a somewhat disappointing one, as they finished sixth in Serie A despite an excellent run post-lockdown that saw them go 12 games unbeaten.
Shamrock meanwhile are still in the midst of their 2020 League of Ireland Premier Division campaign, and they are currently leading the table ahead of Bohemians. Their second-place finish in the 2019 campaign gave them this Europa League spot.
Shamrock Rovers vs AC Milan Head-to-Head
It’s hardly surprising, but these two teams have never faced off prior to Thursday’s game. In terms of recent form, both sides have looked impressive.
Shamrock are unbeaten in domestic competition in 2020, most recently defeating Cork City 0-3 this past Saturday. They’ve also been in Europa League action already, overcoming Finnish side Ilves through a penalty shootout after a 2-2 draw in Dublin.
Meanwhile, this match will be Milan’s first of the 2020-21 campaign. The Serie A season has not commenced yet although the Rossoneri have won four straight friendly matches to follow their unbeaten finish to 2019-20.
Shamrock Rovers form guide: D-W-W-W-W
AC Milan form guide: W-W-D-W-W (competitive games only)
Shamrock Rovers vs AC Milan Team News
Shamrock Rovers will have to do without midfielder Greg Bolger for this game as he’s been ruled out with an injury until the end of their domestic campaign in October. No other injuries have been reported for the Irish side.
Injured: Greg Bolger
Milan have a number of injury concerns for this game, as Rafael Leao, Alessio Romagnoli, Mateo Musacchio and Andrea Conti are all unavailable. In a further blow, last season’s top scorer Ante Rebic is suspended.
On the plus side though, Zlatan Ibrahimovic is expected to be available for the game.
Injured: Rafael Leao, Alessio Romagnoli, Mateo Musacchio, Andrea Conti
Suspended: Ante Rebic
Shamrock Rovers vs AC Milan Predicted XI
Shamrock Rovers predicted XI (4-4-2): Alan Mannus, Liam Scales, Roberto Lopes, Danny Lafferty, Lee Grace, Jack Byrne, Ronan Finn, Aaron McEneff, Gary O’Neill, Aaron Greene, Graham Burke
AC Milan predicted XI (4-2-3-1): Gianluigi Donnarumma, Davide Calabria, Simon Kjaer, Matteo Gabbia, Theo Hernandez, Ismael Bennacer, Franck Kessie, Samu Castillejo, Hakan Calhanoglu, Brahim Diaz, Zlatan Ibrahimovic
Shamrock Rovers vs AC Milan Prediction
Shamrock Rovers will undoubtedly be up for this game, but despite their unbeaten form in 2020, the likelihood is that they’ll be outclassed here.
Milan legend Paolo Maldini has expressed his concern over the game due to the Rossoneri’s injury concerns. But with no fans at the game and Milan on a lengthy unbeaten run of their own, it’s hard to see them slipping up here. Expect the likes of Ibrahimovic and Castillejo to have plenty of space to play in, leading to a comfortable win for the Italian side.
Prediction: Shamrock Rovers 0-3 AC MilanPublished 15 Sep 2020, 12:39 IST