Montella: “Chievo are like a small Juventus; Bacca? He’s tired…”

By Oliver Fisher -

AC Milan boss Vincenzo Montella spoke to the press ahead of the Rossoneri‘s trip to Verona to face Chievo.

Milan sit in sixth place in the Serie A table, with four wins from their opening seven games.

“The break for international duty did us good, as it has been an intense and important week,” said Montella.

“Chievo are particularly experienced, aside from the average age of the squad, as they know how to wait and soak up pressure before striking. They play for the result, so this is going to be very tough.

“In terms of organisation, they remind me of a small Juventus, as they have that same mentality. I know Rolando Maran well, we have great respect and admiration for each other.

“I read somewhere that Milan tend to struggle after international breaks, so we have to work hard and change that statistic. The squad looks more motivated and happy after the win over Sassuolo. If we win, then yes, I really could start to feel the pull of European qualification.”

Montella also spoke on the battle between Manuel Locatelli and Jose Sosa to start in place of Riccardo Montolivo, who has been ruled out for six months after he needed surgery on a serious injury.

“I haven’t decided yet. It is a pleasant decision to make, as they are both very good players who have slightly different characteristics.

“I fear we will miss Montolivo a great deal, perhaps more than anyone realises. If we win tomorrow, naturally we’ll dedicate it to him, but right now we must work without alibis.”

Gianluca Lapadula is expected to start up front for the Diavolo in place of Carlos Bacca, who will be rested ahead of the Juventus match.

“Bacca was a little tired after the long journey, but is used to that by now. I have a few doubts on who to use upfront tomorrow and today will help me make that decision.

“Lapadula has gained confidence and really improved physically. He has great hunger and temperament, at times too much, as he needs to focus his energy a bit better.”

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