Saturday February 8 2020
Pioli: 'Milan inspired by Ibrahimovic'

Stefano Pioli wants Milan to “take inspiration” from Zlatan Ibrahimovic when they face Inter in the Derby della Madonnina. “Some matches are worth more than others.”

It kicks off on Sunday at 19.45 GMT, click here for a match preview.

“There is a gap in the table because Inter did much better at the start of the season, but we are trying to recover lost ground and arrive at this appointment in good shape,” said the coach in his press conference.

Marco Giampaolo was still at the helm when these sides played in September, Marcelo Brozovic and Romelu Lukaku sealing a 2-0 Inter result.

“All games are played to win, but there are some matches that are worth more than others. A derby is there to be won. The best part of preparing for a derby is working out the strategy of the match, taking into account the characteristics of the opposition.”

It’s reported Inter could use Christian Eriksen as a trequartista behind lone striker Romelu Lukaku, with Milan considering something similar for Hakan Calhanoglu supporting Ibrahimovic.

“I am not worried, as Inter are always recognisable in their tactics. We want to be solid and very dangerous, so it’s all about grasping those opportunities when they present themselves.

“We respect our opponents, they are a strong side and we’ll run into difficulties, but must maintain our self-belief throughout the match, rely on our clear ideas.

“Inter are unbeaten in Serie A for a very long time, but we must take inspiration from Ibra and all take on his face, that fired up, determined and hungry face.”

Ibrahimovic missed last week’s 1-1 draw with Verona after coming down with flu, but Pioli assures he’ll be ready to play this huge fixture.

“He spent the week with a specifically planned exercise regime, once he has a full training session with the squad, then we can say he is available,” continued Pioli.

“The only player who might have some fitness issues is Rade Krunic, but we await the medical report on him.

“Victory would mean climbing the table, boosting confidence, positivity and having the right attitude. The derby is worth more than three points, my team has shown courage and we have another opportunity to do that tomorrow."

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