Fabio Capello has insisted that the nine-point gap between Roma and Milan does not equate to the distance in quality between the teams.
The Rossoneri welcome the Giallorossi to the San Siro on Sunday evening for a fixture which has European ramifications for both clubs. Get unibet bonus code for 2020 if you enjoy a flutter on the games.
Roma sit fifth and are six points behind Atalanta in the final Champions League spot while Milan are eighth and vying for the Europa League, but Capello believes the two sides are fairly well matched.
“In current values, there are nine points of difference,” he told Tuttosport.
“The excessive margin is mainly due to the seven first games of the championship, when Milan struggled under [Marco] Giampaolo. After the arrival of Pioli and the subsequent signing of Ibrahimovic, the situation has clearly improved.
“Milan can hurt them on the counterattack. They have already played and won together. Milan’s problem is the defence and other players to recover.”
Capello went on to speak about a few different Milan players, including Rafael Leao.
“Biglia was unable to break through because going to San Siro with the regista’s shirt is difficult, so he had problems. Rebic is powerful, therefore fast dangerous in the opposing area. His technical level is discreet.
“Leao? A player with enormous potential who must convince himself of his means. Sometimes he prefers to show skill rather than aiming decisively at the goal to score. And also Paquetà is an element that I really appreciate.”
Capello also urged his former club to keep Zlatan Ibrahimovic amid rumours he is set to depart once the season ends.
“I have said several times that Milan must keep Zlatan, managing him well, keeping his commitments as he is the team’s reference point.”
Finally, Capello spoke of the rumours about Ralf Rangnick’s arrival as Milan’s new manager that continue to “torment” Stefano Pioli.
“It doesn’t just happen to Milan. It is clear that it is a situation that does not help the current coach. Certainly Pioli is working in a fantastic way, he does very beautiful things and the team follows him, and that is what counts.”
So far there has always been talk of the double role he would play, and we reported via our correspondent Vito Angele on Thursday evening that Rangnick will indeed agree a role as manager – that is the double responsibility of head coach and the man in charge of the transfer market.