Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp insists that AC Milan pose a threat up front with whoever plays, amid their range of options.
The two sides clash on Wednesday in their first Group B clash of the season. Furthermore, each club comes into the match off impressive form. Liverpool have earned 10 points from four league games, Milan nine from nine.
As with Reds forwards Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Diogo Jota, Milan have their own array of talent.
Rafael Leao, Brahim Diaz, Ante Rebic, Olivier Giroud and Zlatan Ibrahimovic have all played this season.
Diaz netted the winner in his side’s Serie A opener against Sampdoria and has an assist to his name. Rebic, meanwhile, assisted Ibrahimovic and Leao in Sunday’s 2-0 win over Lazio.
In his pre-match press conference on Tuesday, Klopp hailed Ibrahimovic for scoring upon his return from injury – despite reports that he has now picked up a fresh achilles injury. But he then went on to pick out Giroud and Rebic as other warning signs for Liverpool.
“He came on in the last game after a long time and scored immediately,” Klopp told reporters (via the Liverpool Echo). “He’s a man for exceptional moments in a game. If he’s not playing then Olivier Giroud or Rebic is playing, or whatever.
“They’re all a slightly different profile, but all really good. It will be absolutely interesting, but Zlatan is one of the best players in this game.”
Liverpool’s other opponents in Group B are Atletico Madrid and Porto.
The Reds have mixed fortunes against the sides; while they were dumped out of the 2019/20 Champions League by Atletico, they have thrashed Porto in the knockout stages twice.
Nevertheless, Klopp insisted that this is the toughest group Liverpool have had since he took charge in 2015.
Klopp makes Liverpool group point
“This is obviously the strongest group we had since I was at Liverpool, no doubt about that,” Klopp said.
“In 2013 when I was at Dortmund we had the ‘champions’ league group. It was [Manchester] City, Real Madrid [and Ajax].
“That was a proper group as well and everyone thought before, ‘My god, how are you going to get through that?’. It’s all about playing the games.”
Dortmund finished top of that group with 14 points from a possible 18, going on to reach the final.
But Klopp added that he cannot see any “early decisions” this time over who reaches the knockout stage, moves into the Europa League and drops out of the competition altogether.