Veteran striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic is expected to be fit for AC Milan’s Serie A derby against Inter Milan, according to head coach Stefano Pioli.
The 38-year-old, who joined the club for a second spell in January, missed Milan’s 1-1 draw with Hellas Verona last Sunday through illness.
But he looks set to recover in time for the Derby della Madonnina on Sunday.
“Today he is training with the squad and if he gets through that, he will be available,” Pioli said on Saturday.
“He has undergone an individual training programme.”
Despite the fact Milan lie ninth in Serie A, 19 points behind second-placed Inter, they are unbeaten since Ibrahimovic arrived on a free transfer last month.
And Pioli believes the former Sweden international is key to his side’s chances against his former club, who have not lost in the league since October’s defeat by champions Juventus.
“We’re facing a team that hasn’t lost for some time,” Pioli said.
“[On Sunday] we must all have the face of Ibrahimovic, fired up and determined. We must maximise our potential.
“Inter did better than us from the start of the season until December, but now we are trying to make up lost ground and we hope to play well in this derby.
“You prepare for every game with the intention of winning, but there are some matches that are worth more than others. Derby games are must-win fixtures.”
Meanwhile, Inter striker Lautaro Martinez is unavailable through suspension while captain and regular goalkeeper Samir Handanovic will start on the bench after fracturing his finger.
However, January arrivals Ashley Young, Victor Moses and Christian Eriksen are all in contention to start, having made their debuts in the win over Udinese last Sunday.
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Hellas Verona produced a huge upset by coming from behind to beat Serie A leaders Juventus 2-1 on Saturday, inflicting a third defeat of the season on the Italian champions.
Cristiano Ronaldo set a new Juventus record by scoring in a 10th consecutive league game to put the visitors in front at the Stadio Marc’Antonio Bentegodi after 65 minutes.
Yet Ivan Juric’ss side left the visitors stunned as Fabio Borini struck an equaliser before a late penalty from substitute Giampaolo Pazzini completed the comeback. read more
Source – BBC