The fitness of AC Milan star Rafael Leao is the big talking point ahead of the club’s big Champions League semi-final first leg against cross-town rivals Inter tonight.
For the first time in 20 years, Milan’s two biggest clubs meet in the Champions League quarter-finals in hopes of booking their place in the final.
But AC Milan will make a late call for Leao’s participation after the Portuguese winger suffered a muscle injury.
Leao has been one of Milan’s most influential players this season with 13 goals and 10 assists in all competitions, but he only lasted 12 minutes in Saturday’s 2-0 win over Lazio before being pulled.
“Today he (Leao) trained, tomorrow I will decide what to do,” Milan manager Stefano Pioli told reporters on Tuesday, adding that he was not stressed about the 23-year-old’s physical condition. Here is everything you need to know.
When is AC Milan vs Inter?
The first leg of the semi-final kicks off at 8pm BST on Wednesday May 10 at their shared San Siro ground in Milan.
How can I see it?
Viewers in the UK can watch the game live on BT Sport 1 with coverage from 7pm. Subscribers can stream the action via the BT Sport app or online player.
AC Milan’s Rafael Leao was sent off after just 12 minutes against Lazio, and the striker is a big doubt for this first leg, even if he has hinted that he has avoided serious injury. A late fitness test could decide if Leao can take part, but Stefano Pioli’s side are in reasonable health.
Pioli said Leao would either start the game or not play, adding that Belgian winger Alexis Saelemaekers was a potential replacement for Wednesday’s game at the San Siro.
“Today he (Leao) trained, tomorrow I will decide what to do,” Pioli told reporters, adding that he was not stressed by the 23-year-old’s physical condition. “I’m going to bed quietly tonight, anyway in the morning Rafa and the doctor will tell me his condition. If he is okay he will be summoned, otherwise not.
“If the test is clean, you can play. If it is not clean, you cannot play, neither from the beginning nor from the end. I would have preferred to do it today, but it was not possible.
Simone Inzaghi rotated a bit in Inter’s Serie A action at the weekend, particularly in their forward line, and could opt to put Romelu Lukaku back up front. Danilo D’Ambrosio could be fit, but a shoulder injury is likely to sideline Robin Gosens.
AC Milan XI: magnan; Calabria, Tomori, Kjaer, Hernandez; Tonali, Krunic; Diaz, Bennacer, Saelemaekers; Giroud.
Inter XI: Onana; Darmian, Acerbi, Bastoni; Dumfries, Barella, Brozovic, Mkhitaryan, Dimarco; Martinez, Lukaku.
AC Milan win 9/4
Inter win 32/21
A tight first leg leaves the tie in the balance. AC Milan 1-1 Inter