MX23RW : Monday, January 18 14:37:29| >> :600:158637:158637:
Nov 26, 2020 at 5.55pm UK at Stade Pierre-Mauroy
LilleLille
1-1
AC MilanAC Milan
Bamba (65')
Pied (12'), Xeka (28'), Soumare (67')
FT(HT: 0-0)
Castillejo (46')
Bennacer (45+1'), Diaz (90+1')

Preview: Lille vs. AC Milan - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Thursday's Europa League clash between Lille and AC Milan, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Lille will be looking for a repeat of their historic San Siro victory when they welcome AC Milan to the Stade Pierre-Mauroy for a fascinating showdown in Europa League Group H.

The two European powerhouses currently occupy the top two spots in the group and the victor in this tie - if there is one - will take a giant stride towards the knockout stages.


Match preview

Lille head coach Christophe Galtier pictured on November 5, 2020© Reuters

A trip to San Siro to take on an in-form Milan side would normally evoke fear into the hearts of teams, but not Lille, who stormed to a remarkable 3-0 victory to condemn the Serie A leaders to their first defeat of the campaign.

The much-coveted Yusuf Yazici, who has now found himself linked with a move to Arsenal, scored a trio of goals at the home of the Rossoneri - his second hat-trick in the 2020-21 Europa League after the 23-year-old also put three past Sparta Prague on matchday one.

That victory in Milan ended a run of three consecutive draws for Lille, and while Christophe Galtier's men suffered a shock defeat to Brest in the days following their triumph against the Rossoneri, Les Dogues trounced Lorient 4-0 on their return from the international break.

Yazici once again earned plenty of plaudits with another two goals to his name in Lille colours, but perhaps the biggest success story of the day was Jonathan David finally breaking his duck and scoring his first goal for Les Dogues at the 14th attempt.

As the only side in Group H yet to taste defeat, another victory over Milan would see Galtier's men put one foot firmly in the knockout stages, but Milan will be out for blood when they make the journey to the Stade Pierre-Mauroy.

AC Milan manager Stefano Pioli pictured on November 8, 2020© Reuters

Milan welcomed Lille to their home having won 10 of their opening 11 matches of the 2020-21 campaign, and not even Dogues supporters could have foreseen their side hit the Rossoneri for three without reply - which was Milan's heaviest-ever European defeat at San Siro.

Stefano Pioli will no doubt consider that lowly defeat as just a temporary blip, with Milan still unbeaten in the Italian top flight, and the Rossoneri displayed their title credentials with a 3-1 victory over Napoli last time out.

In a turn of events that surprised no-one, Zlatan Ibrahimovic got on the scoresheet once again for Milan and took his tally to 10 league goals for the season with a brace on Sunday, while Jens Petter Hauge got off the mark for the season with third for the Rossoneri in the dying embers.

Ibrahimovic did not enjoy the best of outings against Lille, though, as he was hauled off on the hour mark as Yazici dominated the San Siro turf, and the veteran Swede will not be able to stamp his authority on Les Dogues's ground after suffering an injury in the win over Napoli.

Milan marched to comfortable victories over Celtic and Sparta Prague before that loss to Lille, and Pioli's men should still feel confident of making the knockout stages no matter how many points they can accrue this week.

Lille Europa League form: WDW
Lille form (all competitions): DDDWLW

AC Milan Europa League form: WWWWWL
AC Milan form (all competitions): DWWLDW


Team News

Yusuf Yazici celebrates with Lille teammates after scoring against AC Milan on November 5, 2020© Reuters

Lille will be able to welcome back the trio of Reinildo, Jose Fonte and Burak Yilmaz - who were all suspended for the win over Lorient - but the latter is not expected to start up top ahead of Yazici or David.

However, Renato Sanches is set to miss out with the muscle injury he picked up on international duty, while Zeki Celik's sprained ankle means another start at right-back for Jeremy Pied.

Boubakary Soumare and Jonathan Ikone both made appearances off the bench in Sunday's thrashing of Lorient and should return to the first XI for the visit of Milan.

As mentioned, the visitors will have to make do without Ibrahimovic due to the thigh problem he sustained against Napoli, which could prove to be a real blow in Milan's bid to keep their strong results going over the next few weeks.

Fellow forward Rafael Leao is also struggling with an injury in the same area and will probably be forced to join Ibrahimovic in the treatment room, meaning Ante Rebic should lead the line for Milan.

Samu Castillejo, Brahim Diaz and Diogo Dalot are some of the names likely to feature on Pioli's teamsheet this week, but Hauge's first goal for the club is unlikely to be enough for him to start this encounter.

Lille possible starting lineup:
Maignan; Pied, Fonte, Botman, Bradaric; Ikone, Andre, Soumare, Bamba; David, Yazici

AC Milan possible starting lineup:
Donnarumma; Dalot, Kjaer, Romagnoli, Hernandez; Tonali, Kessie; Castillejo, Diaz, Krunic; Rebic


SM words green background

We say: Lille 2-1 AC Milan

The loss of Ibrahimovic is a crushing blow to a Milan side seeking revenge against a talented Lille outfit, and Galtier's men know that they can beat the in-form Rossoneri having done so convincingly already. We are expecting a much tighter affair here than we saw at San Siro, but Lille should do enough to get over the line and take another step towards the knockout stages.


Top betting tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting a double chance bet on a home win or an away win in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Home/Away:data


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Who will win Thursday's Europa League clash between Lille and AC Milan?

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AC Milan's Zlatan Ibrahimovic celebrates scoring against Napoli in Serie A on November 22, 2020
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European roundup: Ibrahimovic hits brace as Milan overcome Napoli
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Todays Game Header Right
Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Paris Saint-GermainPSG20133444113342
2Lille20126235152042
3Lyon20117239192040
4MonacoMonaco20113639291036
5Rennes2010643022836
6Marseille189542618832
7Angers209382531-630
8Bordeaux208572321229
9Metz207762118328
10Lens198472929028
11Montpellier HSCMontpellier208483335-228
12Brest2082103136-526
13StrasbourgStrasbourg2072112932-323
14Nice196582228-623
15Reims205692831-321
16Saint-EtienneSt Etienne204792030-1019
17NantesNantes203982032-1218
18Nimes2043131641-2515
19Dijon192891226-1414
20Lorient1933132038-1812

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