AC Milan facing striker crisis
ROME - Agence France-Presse
Argentinian forward Maxi Lopez (C) is likely to lead the Milan attack against Roma. Milan is facing a striker crisis with Cassano, Pato, Inzaghi and Ibrahimovic out.Serie A leader AC Milan faces a potential striking crisis this weekend ahead of its clash with Roma.
The champions face the possibility of having only two fit strikers after a succession of injuries struck down their regular forwards.
Antonio Cassano is still out with a long-term heart problem, Brazilian Pato is due to head to the United States on March 26 to try to find a solution to his thigh injury while compatriot Robinho has hurt his ankle.
Added to that veteran Filippo Inzaghi has just been ruled out for up to three weeks with a pulled hamstring and top scorer Zlatan Ibrahimovic was forced off at half-time of Tuesday’s Italian Cup exit at Juventus due to a recurring back problem.
Ibrahimovic may be fit enough to play but with Barcelona the visitors to the San Siro on Wednesday in the Champions League quarter-final, first leg, Milan coach Massimiliano Allegri may be unwilling to risk the big Swede against Roma on Saturday night.
It means Maxi Lopez, who scored a stunning individual goal in the 2-2 draw at Juventus -- which still saw Milan eliminated 4-3 on aggregate -- will likely lead the line alongside youngster Stephan El Shaarawy.
Despite Maxi Lopez’s goal, it still rankles Milan chief executive Adriano Galliani that he failed to sign Carlos Tevez from Manchester City in January, settling for Maxi Lopez instead.
“I saw Carlitos (play against Chelsea) and after six months of not playing he came on with his usual nastiness and changed the game which could be the reawakening of Manchester City,” said Galliani.
“It makes me mad. I was in love with Tevez but this is what destiny decided and we’re more than happy with Maxi Lopez.”