With the return of Zlatan Ibrahimović to the San Siro at the beginning of January this year, the sudden rise of Milan started. In the past 11 months, the Rossoneri suffered only three defeats in all competitions, two in the championship last season and one in the Europa League.
With the Swede on the field, the Milan team gained an authority they did not have until his arrival. Due to that, Ibra's new injury in the recent victory over Napoli brought concern, both in the team of Pioli's company and among the Rossoneri supporters.
However, the routine triumph against Fiorentina in the previous round of Serie A confirmed once again that Milan is not only Zlatan. It was the tenth match that the Milan team played without Ibrahimovic and was never defeated.
So, you can do without Ibra. And especially the 39-year-old Swede will not be needed against Celtic today (18.55) at San Siro, where they will have the opportunity to reach the knockout phase of the Europa League.
Coach Stefano Pioli, who has been in quarantine because of coronavirus for the previous ten days, is returning to the home team's bench.
The last test was negative. Apart from Ibrahimovic, there will be no Castillejo and Rafael Leao. Belgian Alexis Salemakers and Ismael Benaccer could return to the team. Neil Lennon is not doing so well this season with Celtic.
Celtic is already 11 points behind the Rangers in the championship, although with two games less. On Sunday they were eliminated from the weak Ross County in the League Cup, and with the new debacle from Sparta in Prague, Celtic said goodbye to the spring in Europe.
Therefore, Lennon could shuffle the cards and save the skeleton of the team, or most of it, for the Scottish Championship. Due to the injury, the Norwegian Mohamed Elyounoussi is out of the team, while James Forest had an ankle operation and a longer break awaits him.
Jeremy Frimpong returns to the team. He did not play for the weekend due to suspension. The number of goals in Milan's matches varies a lot this season, but there are many goals in Celtic's games. In seven of the last matches of the Scottish great, there were at least three of them, and at least one on both sides.
In Glasgow, a month and a half ago, Milan routinely celebrated with 3: 1. Given the current situation in both teams, anything but an identical outcome would be a surprise. Tradition is on the side of the Rossoneri, who have lost to Celtic only once in 11 games.
On the road at San Siro, the Scottish champion scored only one goal in five matches. The green and whites repeated the worst result from the group stage from the 2009/2010 season with only one point in four rounds.