Milan without injured Castillejo for clash with depleted Lazio

By Sports Desk July 03, 2020

Milan will be without Samu Castillejo when they take on a Lazio team missing suspended duo Felipe Caicedo and Ciro Immobile on Saturday.

Castillejo suffered a hamstring injury during the 2-2 draw with SPAL on Wednesday and will undergo further evaluation in a week, meaning the Spanish winger will also miss the upcoming home game against Juventus.

His absence is a further blow for Milan coach Stefano Pioli after seeing his team drop two points against a side sitting in the relegation zone in midweek, hardly ideal preparations for a meeting with opponents occupying second spot in the table.

Lazio are hindered themselves by both top-scorer Immobile and fellow forward Caicedo missing the Stadio Olimpico clash. However, Pioli is aware of the dangers posed by Joaquin Correa, as he scored the decisive goal in a 2-1 win over Milan back in November.

"Lazio are strong, they come from two important comebacks," Pioli told the media on Friday. "Immobile and Caicedo will be missed, but they have Correa. It will be a very complex game, especially from a tactical point of view.

"We are a different team [from the last meeting], many things have changed. We will have to be compact, smart and understand the key moments of the game.

"Lazio are a complete team. They are strong, but we also have to have confidence in ourselves."

Zlatan Ibrahimovic made his first appearance since the Italian season resumed during the game with SPAL, coming on as a 65th-minute substitute on his return from injury.

The Swedish striker could be set to play a greater part in proceedings against Lazio, Pioli revealed.

Asked about Ibrahimovic's fitness, he replied: "Maybe he doesn't know how many minutes he has in his legs. His condition will improve playing, on Thursday he did a good workout. I hope I can put more minutes in his legs on Saturday."

Lazio have rallied after falling behind to beat Fiorentina and Torino in their previous two league outings, leaving them four points behind leaders Juve in the title race.

"We are getting used to living with problems during this period," Lazio coach Simone Inzaghi told the media. "I'm convinced the team can play an excellent game regardless of formation and players.

"These guys are having a great season, I'm proud to be their coach. There are seven games left in the championship, we must take one game at a time."

Related items

  • Dortmund to make late decision on Sancho and Guerreiro ahead of Der Klassiker Dortmund to make late decision on Sancho and Guerreiro ahead of Der Klassiker

    Jadon Sancho and Raphael Guerreiro will be assessed before a decision is made on whether they can play any part in Borussia Dortmund's Bundesliga showdown with rivals Bayern Munich.

    England international Sancho hobbled off the pitch two minutes after scoring what proved to be the winning goal in Tuesday's 1-0 DFB-Pokal quarter-final win against Borussia Monchengladbach.

    He watched the final 22 minutes from the bench with an ice pack on his upper leg, with interim head coach Edin Terzic confirming after the match the 20-year-old had sustained a muscular issue.

    Guerreiro, used 29 times in all competitions this season, limped off in the opening five minutes of the cup tie and both players are now doubtful for Saturday's Klassiker at the Allianz Arena.

    "Jadon and Raphael were examined immediately after the Gladbach game and we have to carry out further examinations," Terzic said at a pre-match news conference on Thursday.

    "It could be tight for both of them, but we're not giving up hope that they will fly to Munich with us tomorrow."

    Being without Sancho would be a major blow for Dortmund, who are looking to avoid losing a fifth league game in a row against Bayern for the first time since between 1968 and 1970.

    After a largely underwhelming first half to the campaign, the attacking midfielder has been directly involved in 12 Bundesliga goals in 2021, finding the net six times and setting up six more.

    Only Bayern striker Robert Lewandowski has scored and assisted more this calendar year (13 in total – 11 goals, two assists), with Eintracht Frankfurt duo Filip Kostic and Andre Silva next on the list with 10 goal involvements apiece.

    Lewandowski has 28 Bundesliga goals to his name in total this campaign - just 12 short of Gerd Muller's long-standing record in a single season - for a Bayern side on a 36-game run since last failing to score in the league.

    No team in Europe's top five leagues has found the net more times than Bayern (67) in 2020-21 and Terzic, who will be replaced by Marco Rose at the end of the campaign, acknowledged his side will have to be alert at the back this weekend.

    "It is clear that the toolbox of the opposition is very large," he said. "We will try to support each other and block the flanks and cover the posts. 

    "They score a lot of goals. It would be best if we don't let them get into the final third of the field.

    "There will be phases where we have to suffer. That counts when you play in Munich, but it does not rule out being brave yourself and being dangerous. Small things will make the difference in such close matches."

  • Rumour Has It: Man City want Dortmund's Haaland as Real Madrid step up chase Rumour Has It: Man City want Dortmund's Haaland as Real Madrid step up chase

    Erling Haaland continues to dominate headlines.

    The Borussia Dortmund sensation is one of the most sought-after players in Europe.

    Manchester City and Real Madrid are reportedly going head-to-head to sign the Norwegian.

     

    TOP STORY – AGUERO OUT, HAALAND IN?

    Manchester City want to sign Borussia Dortmund star Erling Haaland as a replacement for veteran forward Sergio Aguero, according to Bild.

    Aguero, who has been hampered by injury this season, is out of contract at the end of the current campaign.

    Haaland is a player in demand, having been linked to Manchester United, Real Madrid, Barcelona, Liverpool, Chelsea, Paris Saint-Germain, Juventus and Bayern Munich.

    But Haaland dominates the front pages of Thursday's Marca, Diario AS and Mundo Deportivo in Spain amid Madrid's interest.

    The Norway international reportedly wants to listen to Madrid, who will need €150million to prise Haaland to the Santiago Bernabeu.

     

    ROUND-UP

    - Calciomercato reports Lyon star Houssem Aouar remains on the radar of Juventus. Aouar has previously been linked with the Serie A champions, as well as Arsenal.

    Chelsea are interested in Monaco's defensive midfielder Aurelien Tchouameni, claims ESPN.

    - O Jogo says Liverpool could reignite their interest in Sporting CP defender Nuno Mendes. Juve, Madrid and Milan have also been tracking the 18-year-old, who has a £60m (€70m) release clause.

    Edinson Cavani is open to extending his United contract, according to Fabrizio Romano. Cavani joined United as a free agent on a one-year deal at the start of the season. The former PSG star has been linked with Boca Juniors.

  • Koeman lauds Barca mentality after 'incredible' Copa del Rey win over Sevilla Koeman lauds Barca mentality after 'incredible' Copa del Rey win over Sevilla

    Ronald Koeman was full of admiration for the mentality of his Barcelona players after they produced an "incredible" comeback to advance to the Copa del Rey final with a 3-0 win over Sevilla.

    Barca started a dramatic second leg at Camp Nou on Wednesday with a two-goal deficit, but won the tie 3-2 on aggregate to set up a final against Athletic Bilbao or Levante.

    The Catalan giants hit the headlines at the start of the week when ex-president Josep Maria Bartomeu was among those arrested on Monday – he was then provisionally released under charges of unfair administration and corruption of business – as part of a police investigation into last year's 'Barcagate' scandal. 

    There was no sign of any turmoil as Ousmane Dembele put Barca in front early on and Gerard Pique made it 2-2 with a last-gasp header to force extra time midweek.

    Lucas Ocampos had missed a chance to level on the night when his penalty was saved by Barca goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen with 17 minutes remaining and Sevilla had Fernando sent off before Pique struck.

    Martin Braithwaite put Barca in front early in extra time and Luuk de Jong – who had been substituted – was shown a red card on the touchline for dissent after Sevilla were denied another penalty.

    Barca head coach Koeman hailed the character shown by his side, who also beat Sevilla 2-0 in LaLiga on Saturday.

    The former Netherlands boss said in quotes reported by Marca: "We always believed. We never gave up on the Copa. It's a question of mentality.

    "I, as a coach, can't ask my team to do more than what I've seen tonight. We fought until extra time and it's incredible. I'm very happy with the team's work tonight.

    "We deserved to go through. I think we were better over the two legs. We were the best team."

    Koeman added in a week that will end with the Barca presidential election: "We managed to score three goals and could've scored more. You can't ask for more."

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.