Inter Milan v AC Milan: Zlatan Ibrahimovic set to feature in derby

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February 8, 2020
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    Zlatan Ibrahimovic

    Zlatan Ibrahimovic has scored two goals in his five appearances since rejoining AC Milan in January

    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.

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    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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    February 8, 2020
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