NEWS
Thursday October 25 2018
Line-ups: Milan v Real Betis

Milan look to Gonzalo Higuain, Samu Castillejo and Diego Laxalt in their crunch Europa League tie with Real Betis.

It kicks off at San Siro at 17.55 UK time (16.55 GMT).

You can follow all the build-up and action as it happens from this game and Marseille-Lazio on the LIVEBLOG.

The Rossoneri won both their opening Europa League matches against Dudelange and Olympiacos, but not convincingly, and a last-gasp derby defeat at the weekend put Gennaro Gattuso under renewed pressure.

There are even reports Roberto Donadoni is being lined up as his replacement, so this is a must-win clash for the tactician.

Hakan Calhanoglu, Ignazio Abate and Mateo Musacchio miss out, but Mattia Caldara is back in the squad after injury, albeit only on the bench.

Cristian Zapata instead steps in to defence, with Laxalt used as a left-back.

Pepe Reina, Tiemoue Bakayoko, Castillejo and Fabio Borini also start, but regulars Lucas Biglia, Jack Bonaventura and Pipita Higuain hold down the fort.

There are plenty of star names in the Betis side and they are arguably the main competition for Milan in this group, but lag behind after a 0-0 draw away to Olympiacos.

William Carvalho is an experienced Portugal international, Argentina midfielder Giovani Lo Celso is on loan from Paris Saint-Germain while Paraguayan Tonny Sanabria is a former Roma striker who scored 24 goals in his 80 appearances for Sporting Gijon and Betis.

The good news for Milan is that Betis are missing injured captain Joaquin – formerly of Fiorentina – Cristian Tello, Andres Guardado and Javi Garcia.

These sides have met only twice before, both in the opening round of the Cup Winners’ Cup in September 1977. Betis won the first leg 2-0 at home and then lost 2-1 at San Siro, securing their qualification.

Milan: Reina; Calabria, Zapata, Romagnoli, Laxalt; Bakayoko, Biglia, Bonaventura; Castillejo, Higuain, Borini

Milan bench: G Donnarumma, Jose Mauri, Suso, Bertolacci, Caldara, Cutrone, Rodriguez

Betis: Pau Lopez; Mandi, Bartra, Sidnei; Barragan, Lo Celso, William Carvalho, Canales, Junior Firpo; Sergio Leon, Sanabria

Betis bench: Robles, Feddal, Inui, Boudebouz, Tello, Loren Moron, Kaptoum

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