By 90Min
October 03, 2018

A.C. Milan host Olympiacos in the second round of fixtures in the Europa League Group Stage on Thursday evening. 

Gennaro Gattuso's side are currently one win from one in Group F, having beaten Dudelange 1-0 away from home in their opening fixture. Milan's opponents, Olympiacos, qualified for the Europa League through the play-offs, beating Premier League side Burnley along the way. 

The Greek side's first game didn't go to plan, as they played out a 0-0 stalemate and had their left-back, Tsimikas, sent off, meaning he will be suspended for the fixture against Milan.

With the game being played in the San Siro, there will be high expectations on Milan to win this comfortably. 

With this in mind, here is the best possible lineup Milan can field for the task at hand.


Goalkeeper & Defenders

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Gianluigi Donnarumma (GK) - At the tender age of 19, Milan's goalkeeper is arguably the best youngster in the world in his position. Week in and week out Donnarumma produces performances beyond his years and Milan will be hoping that they have raised a goalkeeper for the next 15 years. 

Ignazio Abate (RB) - The pacy, Italian fullback has played for Milan since 2009 after he was signed from Empoli. Since then, Abate has predominantly been the first choice right-back for Milan. However, this season he has faced competition from Davide Calabria for his position. Despite this, having started in Milan's 4-1 win against Sassuolo on the weekend, Abate should retain his place.

Mateo Musacchio (CB) - The Argentinian centre-back has benefitted from an early-season injury to Milan's summer signing, Mattia Caldara, who transferred from league champions Juventus as part of the deal which saw Bonucci go the other way. Whilst Musacchio does not possess the same pace as the youthful Caldara, he is a solid back-up option for Gattuso's side.


Alessio Romagnoli (CB) - The 23-year-old centre-back has been long sought after by Europe's elite over the past couple of transfer windows thanks to his consistently impressive performances for his club. Fortunately for Gattuso, Milan managed to keep hold of Romagnoli and he will be integral if the Italian side are to go all the way in the Europa League. 


Ricardo Rodriguez (LB) - The Swiss left-back has faced stern competition from his Uruguayan teammate Diego Laxalt throughout the early stages of this season. However, Rodriguez possesses a deadly delivery from out wide, which might prove decisive in breaking down the stubborn Olympiacos defence. 



Midfielders

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Frank Kessié (CM) - Gattuso has been open to changing much of his starting lineup during the season. However, his midfield has remained the same for the majority of Milan's matches thus far this season. One of these staple midfielders is Kessié, who provides Milan with box-to-box action in midfield, whilst also possessing a powerful shot from outside the box that could prove fruitful if Olympiacos sit off.


Lucas Biglia (CM) - The former Lazio midfielder is the most defensive of Milan's three starting central midfielders. Biglia often sits back for Gattuso's side, whilst Kessié and Bonaventura provide some creativity going forwards. Biglia mainly keeps his passing simple and provides the transitional passing between the defence and the attack. 


Giacomo Bonaventura (CM) - The Italian central-midfielder possesses the most natural attacking instinct within the Milan midfield. Bonaventura often acts as the creative spark in the middle of the park and is the most likely of the three midfielders to pop up with a goal. He currently has two goals in six appearances this season, and will be hoping to add to that tally on Thursday. 



Forwards

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Hakan Çalhanoglu (LW) - Milan's left winger this season has predominantly played more centrally throughout his career, often as a number ten. However, under Gattuso, the creative Turk has been moved onto the left of an attacking three. Çalhanoglu is well-known for his incisive set-pieces, whether it is a delivery from out-wide or a shot on goal. He is currently without a goal this season and will be looking to break that dry-run against Olympiacos.

Gonzalo Higuaín (ST) - After Cristiano Ronaldo's dramatic arrival at Juventus this summer, it was Higuaín who was sold to make room for the Portuguese star. In the Argentinian, Milan were guaranteed a goal-scoring machine and this has proven to be the case thus far, despite Milan's inconsistent form. In his five appearances for the club so far, Higuaín has scored an impressive three goals. He will provide a constant threat to Olympiacos' defence throughout Thursday evening.

Suso (RW) - The former Liverpool player struggled to make his mark in his stint in the Premier League. However, since moving to the Serie A Suso hasn't looked back and is being monitored by some of the biggest Premier League clubs. The Spanish winger has started the season in good form, having scored twice in just six games. Last season he managed eight goals in 50 games, and is well on course to better that this campaign. 

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