Winner 3-0 at San Siro in early November, Lille is now an ogre in the Europa League.
And Thursday (6:55 p.m.) the Mastiffs dream of eating AC Milan again, revenge despite the absence of Ibrahimovic, injured, to join the round of 16.
First in Pool H since its demonstration in Italy, Losc is indeed one step ahead of Milan and four over Sparta Prague, which it will receive next week: Christophe Galtier's team will be assured of its qualification. in the event of success at the Pierre-Mauroy Stadium.
The Northerners are well aware of this and the large victory (4-0) against Lorient on Sunday in Ligue 1, while they remained on one defeat and two draws in the league, reinvigorated a workforce that was beginning to suffer from the sequence of matches .
"You are never favorites when you are Losc and you play Milan which is at the top of its championship," however warned the Lille coach on Wednesday.
Spared so far, the Mastiffs have paid a heavy price during the international break with the selection injuries of two indisputable holders, the Portuguese Renato Sanches and the Turkish Zeki Celik.
While the hamstring-affected midfielder could be back in a week, the fullback suffers from a major sprained ankle and will be out perhaps until the end of the year.
- "do not fall asleep" -
However, to challenge the Serie A leader, Christophe Galtier will recover three players who were suspended against the Merlus, captain José Fonte, side Reinildo and striker Burak Yilmaz.
With the sparkling form of Yusuf Yazici, author of a hat-trick at San Siro and who scored again on Sunday, and the long-awaited first goal from striker Jonathan David against the Bretons, most of the sighted people are green.
"We have a capital of confidence, we must rely on it but not fall asleep. We will have to play with a lot of application, generosity, and the desire not to give up too much ground," said Wednesday the Lille coach.
AC Milan, which consolidated its position as leader of the Italian Championship by winning in Naples on Sunday (3-1), will appear in Lille lessened with in particular the absence of Zlatan Ibrahimovic, spearhead of the team despite its 39 years (10 goals in 6 Serie A matches).
The Swede scored twice at the San Paolo stadium before injuring his left thigh.
- Revenge -
The offensive sector will also be reduced by the forfeit of the former Lille resident Rafael Leao, hit in the right thigh with the Portuguese Hopes.
It is the Croatian Ante Rebic and the Norwegian Jens Petter Hauge who should therefore occupy the front of the Milan attack.
"Playing every three days, we've been doing it since May so we're used to it. And we have a large squad. It's true that at the moment there are a few injured players but the important thing is 'state of mind and winning in Naples helped for morale, "explained Wednesday Daniele Bonera, assistant coach of + Rossoneri +, who will be on the bench Thursday because technician Stefano Pioli is still positive for Covid-19.
Surprised in the first leg to everyone's surprise, the Milanese obviously want to take their revenge but expect a complicated match in the North.
"We suffered a lot in the first leg. They have strong players in attack, but not only that, stressed Daniele Bonera. We have to manage not to reproduce the technical and tactical errors of the first leg. We want to win because we are too demanding to want to settle for a draw. "
© 2020 AFP