Saturday December 14 2013
Benatia: 'I won't provoke Balotelli'

Roma defender Mehdi Benatia is looking forward to a fair fight with Milan’s Mario Balotelli. “I won’t provoke him.”

The two teams go head-to-head at San Siro on Monday, kicking off at 19.45 GMT. Click here for a match preview.

“It is strange to see the Rossoneri 19 points behind us in the Serie A table,” Benatia told Il Tempo newspaper.

“They have been struggling for a while, but now they have gone through to the Champions League knockouts and we must respect them, because it is still Milan.

“It is going to be a battle and we need to play like Roma, with hunger and tempo. That will make it difficult for them.”

Moroccan international Benatia is also looking forward to the chance to mark Milan and Italy star Balotelli, but promises no controversy.

“It’s a shame he often gets provoked and people say he’s a bad guy. He can relax with me: I won’t need to say any nasty words to mark him.”