As reported by La Gazzetta dello Sport in this morning's print edition, Rafael Leao will be missing against 'La Viola', but as widely reported, Ruben Loftus-Cheek (having overcome the virus that affected him during the week), Christian Pulisic, and Davide Calabria will return to the starting lineup. Additionally, Pioli expects energy and positive signs from Samuel Chukwueze, Noah Okafor, and Luka Jovic.
Simon Kjaer will also return, the only one capable of replacing Olivier Giroud in leadership: he'll be ready after a month of enforced rest due to muscle problems. He is a valuable addition, especially while the other two defenders, Pierre Kalulu and Marco Pellegrino are injured.
Of the starting central defenders, only Malick Thiaw remains at Milanello; Fikayo Tomori will return later in the day after his double commitment with England.
As mentioned, Pioli expects a lot from Chukwueze, Okafor, and Jovic. The Swiss talent two could fill the spaces left by Olivier Giroud and Giroud Leao. From Jovic, a spark is simply expected, whether it's a fortunate chance near the goal or a technically impressive move.
The outcome counts, as he knows well: the zero in terms of goals, assists, and Champions League appearances affects the assessment of performance.
Ultimately, to replace the exits of Rafa and Giroud, seven players will step in; whether that will be enough for AC Milan will be understood in a week.