It has been a long time coming but Milan are finally back in the Champions League, and they kick off their European campaign with a tough trip to Anfield on Wednesday night.
The Rossoneri have only met Liverpool twice before. Unbelievably, both of their previous encounters have been Champions League finals, spaced just two years apart in 2005 and 2007.
The historical record is tied at one apiece and Milan will be eager to continue their fine start to the season by besting the Reds in their own back yard. Here is the starting XI Stefano Pioli will most likely select to get the job done.
Mike Maignan (GK) – Taking on Gianluigi Donnarumma’s gloves was never going to be easy but Maignan has fared pretty well so far. He has not had much luck in the Champions League previously and will be hoping that changes this season.
Davide Calabria (RB) – The ever reliable Italian is in for a tough evening but he has got through similar tests unscathed in the recent past.
Simon Kjaer (CB) – Alessio Romagnoli may have started Milan’s last game but Simon Kjaer, now fully rested after his international exploits, should return for the Liverpool match.
Theo Hernandez (LB) – Hernandez continues to step out of his brother’s shadow with a string of fine performances for Milan. Combining physicality and technique, he could be in for a big season.
Sandro Tonali (CM) – Is he the heir to Andrea Pirlo’s legacy in Italian football? Tonali certain has a lot of similarities but he will have work cut out against Liverpool’s relentless midfield.
Franck Kessie (CM) – There is plenty of uncertainty over his future but as long as he remains a Milan player, Kessie is one of the first names on the team sheet.
Brahim Diaz (AM) – Diaz is known for his clever work on the ball but he will need to show good discipline out of possession against the Reds. If he isn’t up to the task he could be hooked off.
Alessandro Florenzi (RW) – Florenzi has made a solid start to life in Milan since joining on loan from PSG. His defensive discipline will be important as his side’s seeks to keep Sadio Mane and Andrew Robertson at bay.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic (ST) – After making a big impact from the bench at the weekend, Ibrahimovic is set to start from the off at Anfield.
Ante Rebic (LW) – This is perhaps a tad harsh on Rafael Leao, who scored from a left-forward berth on Sunday, but Pioli is likely to favour Rebic for his experience.