AC Milan vs Liverpool
| Tuesday, December 7th |
Champions League | San Siro
8PM BST / 3PM EST
As many predicted, with a round to go before the knockout stages, every team in the Champions League’s Group of Death is in with a chance at advancing. Behind winners of five straight Liverpool, of course, but still in with a shot.
As such, for AC Milan, who beat Atlético Madrid to send the Spaniards tumbling to the bottom of the table two weeks ago, this game is critical, and could provide another great moment for the rossoneri, who lead the Serie A as the league approaches the halfway point.
The Italians battled back after a brutal start at Anfield, but ultimately fell short when the teams met back in September, and subsequently went on a nine-game unbeaten league run of eight wins and a draw. They have struggled with injuries in recent weeks however, and Stefano Pioli may miss as many as seven players for tomorrow’s clash, although top scorer Zlatan Ibrahimovic and the mercurial Brahim Díaz should be available.
Projected Liverpool Lineup (4-3-3)
Alisson; Williams, Konaté, Gomez, Tsimikas; Morton, Keïta, Oxlade-Chamberlain; Mané, Origi, Minamino
For the Reds, on the other hand, who pulled out a deserved but hard-fought win at the death two days ago, this game means very little. First spot in the group has long been decided and the fixture list is packed, so expect heavy rotation, similar to what we saw in the 2-0 win over Porto two weeks ago.
Joe Gomez could make his first start after injury since having returned to training, and the expectation is that Ibrahim Konaté will continue to build his first team experience. Neco Williams and Kostas Tsimikas are also likely to get a start.
James Milner’s suspension and Curtis Jones’ eye injury limits options in midfield somewhat, but Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is a lock to start, while both Naby Keïta and Tyler Morton are in contention to spell Fabinho, Thiago and Jordan Henderson.
Up top, Divock Origi should get the nod following the late winner at Wolves on Saturday, while Takumi Minamino should see a second consecutive Champions League start. Who gets the final spot is unclear, but Mohamed Salah has start every non-Carabao match for the Reds this season and should get a rest, leaving it to Sadio Mané or Diogo Jota.
What the Managers Said
Jürgen Klopp: “You can only win things with a fantastic squad. We are happy with the squad we have. We’ve known each other for a long time. We know our roles, our football looks more mature than in the past. The boys have a good relationship with each other. We have a good squad.”
Stefano Pioli: “Liverpool have a lot of speed and quality in their attacking players, they are very good at playing forward. We will have to be very careful and make good team choices. It will have to be a Milan night, we only have one chance and we have to risk it all tomorrow.”
The Officials (NED)
Referee: Danny Makkelie
Assistant referees: Hessel Steegstra, Jan de Vries
Fourth official: Dennis Higler
VAR: Pol van Boekel, Rob Dieperink
Kickoff is set for 8PM GMT/3PM EST tomorrow, and television listings for the match can be found on LiveSoccerTV.
In the meantime, and as always, we’ll be keeping you updated with all the buildup to the game, including team news as it’s released, our live matchday thread, and post-match recaps from The Liverpool Offside staff. If you want to join the discussion, sign up for an SB Nation account to have your say on the action as it happens.