SERIE A

Ibrahimovic close to goals milestone ahead of Milan derby

Swedish striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic has nine Milan derby goals and is just two away from 500 career strikes heading into Tuesday's clash with Inter.

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Milestone in sight as Ibrahimovic seeks more Milan derby delight

Ever the man for the big occasion, Zlatan Ibrahimovic will be eyeing a looming landmark heading into Tuesday's Coppa Italia Derby della Madonnina.

Milan aiming to bounce back after Atalanta defeat

Ibrahimovic enters the latest crunch clash between Inter and his AC Milan just two goals shy of 500 in club football. The former Sweden striker drew a blank against Atalanta on Saturday, ending a run of scoring in nine consecutive Serie A starts, but will be determined to bounce back in this mammoth fixture. "We have to redeem ourselves after this defeat," Ibrahimovic said after the 3-0 defeat to Atalanta. "We have the chance to do it in a few days against Inter. That will be a good match."

Enjoying a fine second spell with Milan now at the age of 39, Ibrahimovic's goals have fired Stefano Pioli's side back into title contention - despite the Atalanta setback. The Rossoneri have not won the Scudetto since 2011 - in Ibrahimovic's first stint at the club - and are without any silverware since the 2016 Supercoppa Italiana. Inter's own trophy drought spans back to 2011, making this season - with the Milan clubs first and second in the table - and this quarter-final encounter huge.

Ibrahimovic has 13 goals in all competitions this season, including 12 in the league, swelling his Milan total to 80. That far surpasses the 66 he scored in his time with Inter, while his total number of appearances for the Rossoneri has also nudged past his Nerazzurri tally, 119 to 117 after the Atalanta reverse. Ibrahimovic will hope to be able to celebrate a 69th victory in Milan colours when they face their neighbours.

Ibra in the Milan derby

Derbies tend to be enjoyable occasions for Ibrahimovic, who has scored seven times for Milan against Inter - including a strike in his only prior such match outside of Serie A, inspiring a turnaround in the 2011 Supercoppa. A goal and an assist in the first meeting with Inter following his return to Milan last year were in vain as the Nerazzurri won 4-2, but his brace this season secured a 2-1 win for the Serie A leaders.

Only once, in a 1-0 defeat in 2012, has Ibrahimovic failed to score for Milan against Inter, while he also netted twice in four matches for Juventus in the Derby d'Italia. Yet the striker's Milan derby history goes back to before his arrival at the Rossoneri due to his previous allegiance to Inter. He scored in his first two Inter appearances against Milan, meaning he has nine strikes in this famous rivalry - trailing only Andriy Shevchenko (14), Giuseppe Meazza (13), Gunnar Nordahl, Istvan Nyers (both 11) and Enrico Candiani (10).

Ibrahimovic has won six and lost four of his 10 Serie A derbies, also triumphing in that Supercoppa clash.