Soccer-AC Milan's Pioli yet to decide between Ibrahimovic and Giroud for striker's role


FILE PHOTO: Soccer Football - Champions League - Group B - FC Porto v AC Milan - Estadio do Dragao, Porto, Portugal - October 19, 2021 AC Milan coach Stefano Pioli before the match REUTERS/Pedro Nunes

(Reuters) - AC Milan manager Stefano Pioli said on Friday that he was yet to decide between Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Olivier Giroud for the striker's spot for the trip to Bologna on Sunday, adding that it was currently difficult to start both of them together.

Ibrahimovic has played three times this season -- all from the bench -- due to injury, with Giroud being the preferred option up front in recent games for Pioli.

"(Ibrahimovic) needs to play and train. The minutes will be increasing, and I still have to decide who to start between him and Giroud... we cannot start with both of them on the pitch. When they are in the best possible condition it could also happen," said the manager.

Milan will be without midfielder Franck Kessie, winger Ante Rebic and striker Pietro Pellegri at the weekend.

Pioli added that Milan were ready to respond after the midweek defeat by Porto in the Champions League.

"... We played a mediocre match in terms of ball management and defensive compactness: working on the field helped us understand what went wrong and what we need to fix for tomorrow night. Bologna will create difficulties for us," he said.

"... The team has always been good at learning from their mistakes: if you don't make mistakes, you don't learn. We have shown that we can do much better: tomorrow we can prove it."

Milan are second in the league with 22 points from eight games. Bologna are 10 points behind in eighth.

(Reporting by Dhruv Munjal in Bengaluru; Editing by Christian Radnedge)

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