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Montella confident Milan can cope without injured Bacca

Vincenzo Montella insists AC Milan have a lot of options to cope with the absence of forward Carlos Bacca in Saturday’s game with Empoli.

Colombia international Bacca has six goals in 13 Serie A appearances this season but will be unavailable for the trip to Tuscany because of a thigh injury sustained in the 2-2 draw with Inter last weekend.

Milan are third in Serie A, seven points behind leaders Juventus and level with second-placed Roma, though they are looking over their shoulders at Atalanta, Lazio and Napoli as Montella bids to bring Champions League football back to San Siro.

Empoli are only three points above the relegation zone but Milan – who have failed to score just three times this season – will need to keep up that form against a team that has lost just two of their last six games.

Both Gianluca Lapadula and Brazil forward Luiz Adriano could be in line to fill the void left by Bacca.

Montella said: “I’ve watched many of their [Empoli] matches. They’re a team that are organised defensively and able to play well

“Lapadula wants to be a protagonist. He’s fine, but for the characteristics of our opponents, we may also play Luiz Adriano.

“Despite Bacca’s absence, we have some important solutions.”

The completion date for a takeover of Milan by a Chinese consortium has been set for December 13, though president Silvio Berlusconi has vowed to “take my Milan back” if the deal is not ratified by that point.

Montella, however, dismissed suggestions the takeover was a distraction for his squad.

“Players affected by the takeover? If so, they’re not showing it, otherwise they’re showing its advantages,” he added.

“The lads are focused, we’re giving a great show of professionalism and desire to win, and that’s the most that can a coach can expect.”

Fri 25 Nov, 2016
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