Zlatan Ibrahimovic to miss AC Milan-Liverpool clash in Champions League

Ibrahimovic tests positive for COVID-19
Ibrahimovic

Mueez Ajao

– Zlatan out of Liverpool vs Milan with injury

– Zlatan Ibrahimovic will not feature in AC Milan’s visit to Anfield to face Liverpool in the Champions League on Wednesday after he was left at home as a precaution following an Achilles’ tendon strain.

– The Sweden forward made his first appearance since May 9 on Sunday when he scored on his return against Lazio.

– “Ibrahimovic would have started,” Milan manager Stefano Pioli told a news conference on Tuesday. “An inflamed tendon after four months out can happen.

– “He was fine but after the match [on Sunday], he felt a little discomfort. This morning, he tried [to train], but he felt pain so there’s need to take such a risk at this time of the season.

– “Tomorrow’s is a hugely important game, but we have so many more.”

– Asked whether an injury on the back of four months out meant Milan should start to imagine life without the striker, Pioli added: “I imagine Milan with Zlatan — 100%. It’s what he wants, what I want and what all his teammates want.

– “With many other options. These [injuries] are part of the game but we are well prepared with [Ante] Rebic and Olivier [Giroud]. I feel for Ibra, who always wants to play to be in good shape.”

– Milan travel Juventus on Sunday in their next Serie A match.

– Ibrahimovic helped Milan return to the Champions League for the first time since 2014 as his goals helped the Rossoneri to a second-place finish last season.

– Former Chelsea forward Olivier Giroud, who missed Sunday’s clash against Lazio despite testing negative for coronavirus after a period of quarantine, is in contention to start. – The France international had started Milan’s first two matches of the season, scoring two in the 4-1 win over Cagliari.

– Milan were handed a tough draw in their return to European football’s premier competition with Atletico Madrid and FC Porto their other opponents in Group B.

– Ibrahimovic was in line for his first meeting with Liverpool since his late goal salvaged a 1-1 draw for former club Manchester United at Old Trafford in 2017.

– He has faced Liverpool twice in the Champions League — suffering elimination at the quarterfinal stage with Juventus in 2004-05 and in the round of 16 with Internazionale in 2007-08.