Soccer-Milan's Ibrahmovic not Superman, won't play at Juve says coach


FILE PHOTO: Soccer Football - Serie A - AC Milan v Lazio - San Siro, Milan, Italy - September 12, 2021 AC Milan's Zlatan Ibrahimovic celebrates scoring their second goal REUTERS/Daniele Mascolo

MILAN, Italy (Reuters) - AC Milan striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic is not Superman and will not recover from injury in time to face Juventus away in Serie A on Sunday, coach Stefano Pioli has said.

The veteran Swede made his comeback last weekend from a knee injury picked up in May, scoring the winner for Milan against Lazio, but missed their midweek Champions League defeat at Liverpool with an Achilles problem.

"Ibra would like to be Superman but he isn't," Pioli told a news conference on Saturday, "We have assessed him and he hasn't had great improvements.

"He and (Olivier) Giroud won't be in the game because of a lower back pain (for the Frenchman).

"We work together with the resources we have."

Milan have returned to the Champions League for the first time since 2013-14 having finished third last season.

They have made an impressive start to Serie A, winning all three of their opening league matches.

Pioli anticipates a tough match against Juventus in Turin on Sunday, despite the home side's poor start to the season with one point, but believes his team are well equipped to cause Massimiliano Allegri's struggling side problems.

"We feel we are a strong team, we try to win every single match," Pioli added. "Our level has risen.

"The competitiveness of the Italian championship is high and the top seven are close in terms of values.

"With Juve it will be a very high level match, they can still win the championship. I expect an aggressive Juve, we must be prepared for all situations."

(Reporting by Peter Hall; Editing by Ken Ferris)

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