Max Allegri is glad to have Keisuke Honda for Milan’s trip to Sassuolo and claims Inter should be flattered at being compared to them.
It kicks off at the Mapei Stadium on Sunday at 19.45 GMT, click here for a match preview.
“Honda has brought a wave of enthusiasm with him. He’s a player who wants to prove himself in the Italian League,” said the Coach in his Press conference.
“He is a good signing and needs a little time to settle in, but is already clearly improving after two or three days training with the squad. Tomorrow he’ll be on the bench and if possible I’ll try to let him play. Otherwise, he’ll play on Wednesday in the Coppa Italia against Spezia.
“Sassuolo have all the potential to avoid relegation and they are a strong club who are making investments.
“I am fond of this club, as we won the Serie C tournament together. Eusebio Di Francesco completed the job after all the good work done by Stefano Pioli, Fulvio Pea and Andrea Mandorlini.”
This week Inter Coach Walter Mazzarri was irritated that his team’s season was being compared to Milan’s, pointing out they had nine more points than their city rivals.
“Inter might have nine more points, but a city like Milan ought to have two clubs in Europe and right now it’s just us. Inter are doing well and can have a good second half of the season, as can we, so there’s no point stirring up controversy.”
Stephan El Shaarawy, Valter Birsa, Ignazio Abate, Kevin Constant, the suspended Sulley Muntari and exit-bound Marco Amelia are not in the squad.
“Christian Abbiati has always been first choice and when he had problems I picked Gabriel. Amelia asked the club if he could leave and at the moment Gabriel is staying at Milan.
“Alessandro Matri? The club will make its evaluations. He has been useful for us and I was disappointed with the jeers he received on Monday. He worked for the team.
“Mario Balotelli is only 24 years old and this is his first full season as a first choice player. It’s not easy for him, as there’s a different responsibility to when he was at Inter or Manchester City. He’ll have a great World Cup and has a lot to learn, as everyone does.
“Robinho is finding himself again after a difficult year and is really hungry. Giampaolo Pazzini is improving his fitness levels and will have space in the Coppa Italia.”