Thursday September 17 2020
Line-ups: Shamrock Rovers v Milan

Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Hakan Calhanoglu lead the way in Milan’s Europa League preliminary round tie with Irish team Shamrock Rovers.

It kicks off at 19.00 UK time (18.00 GMT) and is a one-off knockout round game at the Tallaght Stadium in Dublin.

This will be decided this evening, as if they are level after 90 minutes, it’ll go to extra time and maybe even penalties.

The winners go on to face either Bodo-Glimt or Zalgiris Vilnius in the next round on September 24.

Ante Rebic is suspended, Rafael Leao in isolation following a COVID-19 diagnosis, while Alessio Romagnoli, Andrea Conti and Mateo Musacchio are injured.

Lucas Paqueta is fit, but not part of Stefano Pioli’s plans, so has been left behind in Italy.

Ibrahimovic starts upfront in a 4-2-3-1 formation, based on the one seen in the final months of last season, with support from Samu Castillejo, Alexis Saelemaekers and Calhanoglu.

New signing Sandro Tonali is on the bench, as there are effectively no new players in the starting XI, if we consider that Ibra was already there last term.

Shamrock Rovers have already started their season and are currently top of the Irish Premier League on 29 points from 11 games.

Centre-back Liam Scales is suspended, as they needed penalties to beat Ilves in the previous round.

Graham Burke is the man to watch, having scored five goals in the first 11 Irish Premier League games of the season.

The only other time Milan faced Irish opposition was the 1975-76 UEFA Cup, with a 0-0 draw away to Athlone Town and 3-0 win at San Siro.

Shamrock Rovers: Mannus; O’Brien, Lopes, Grace; Finn, McEneff, O’Neill, J Byrne, Farrugia; Burke, Greene

Milan: G Donnarumma; Calabria, Kjaer, Gabbia, Theo Hernandez; Kessie, Bennacer; Castillejo, Calhanoglu, Saelemaekers; Ibrahimovic

Ref: Farkas (HUN)

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