Palermo President Maurizio Zamparini fears Mario Balotelli tonight and said Milan Coach Sinisa Mihajlovic “owes me.”
The two teams face off at San Siro at 19.45 UK time (18.45 GMT), click here for a match preview.
“I would’ve preferred to face Milan in the opening round, not now they are fired up and angry at having lost to Inter,” Zamparini told La Gazzetta dello Sport.
“The derby was like a few years ago, in that Milan played and Inter won. Balotelli still proved straight away what he can do. He is the only one who can make the difference with a move. Hopefully, he’ll do that from the next game and not this one.”
Milan have stuttered under new Coach Mihajlovic, but Zamparini is prepared to take credit for any future success.
“Mihajlovic has the character and ambition to give a real identity to this team. (President Silvio) Berlusconi was thinking about Antonio Conte, but the Serbian was the only one available with the right characteristics to relaunch the Rossoneri.
“He needs time. At Sampdoria he also took a few months to give the side shape and the best results came in the second half of the season.
“In any case, he owes me. Seeing as I put in a good word for him, hopefully he won’t sink me tonight.
“I have a strong rapport with Milan. If it was up to me, Paulo Dybala would’ve joined the Rossoneri this summer, but he preferred Juventus. It was a courageous choice and time will tell, but I just point out he would’ve been first choice at Milan today.
“Sinisa is crazy about Dybala. The first time he saw him play, he asked me if Leo Messi had signed for Palermo.”
Zamparini is now 74 years old and the fiery Palermo patron confirmed he’s putting the club up for sale.
“Considering my age, it’s best that I step aside at the end of the season. I am seeking a buyer who will give a future to Palermo. I don’t need money, but rather guarantees for the club. If anything, I could help out as an honorary President.”