Pioli talks Adli’s rebirth and selection choices: “Always for the good of Milan”

By Ben Dixon -

Ahead of the pivotal clash against Slavia Praha, AC Milan manager Stefano Pioli has spoken to the media about the fixture while making some hints about the players he could select for the clash. 

In the Europa League playoffs, Milan were, without a doubt, given one of the more difficult draws in Stade Rennais, and whilst they made a meal of the second leg of the tie, they progressed. The story in the Round of 16 must be different, though.

The past few months have seen Pioli’s position become more unstable than ever, and after the events in Serie A and the Champions League, the only hope for his job to be saved is Europa League success.

In this fixture, the Rossoneri, more specifically Pioli, cannot afford to make things difficult for themselves, and everything has to be perfect about the next two legs of European football. Slavia Praha will create difficulties for the Diavolo, but Pioli has to ensure his players find a way if he is to have a chance at remaining the side’s head coach past this season.

Pioli spoke to Sky Sports about the fixture and offered some insight into his team – his words have been relayed by MilanNews.

On Slavia Prague…

“They are good, we must not underestimate anyone, we are well and it will be an important game for us and for our public. We are expecting a game similar to the one against Rennes, Slavia maybe has different peculiarities and I have seen that in the last games played, we will have to avoid distractions.”

On the Europa League route…

“We want to do something important and in our heads there is the desire and the idea of winning this trophy, which Milan have not yet won in their history. We still have many difficult challenges ahead of us.”

The mood at Milanello…

“We are fine, in the last game we didn’t play very well and we could definitely do better, but we were compact and the team knows that this is a crucial moment for our path. We want to win the Europa League and we believe in it, but it will still be a long journey, now our head is at Slavia Prague.”

Are Milan over the injury issues?

“We have recovered almost all the players, Tomori, Thiaw and Kalulu will need minutes but they are fine, we went through difficult moments but now we are fine physically. For me it’s important to have doubts and all the lads available, we are a big group and we need the help of every single element in this period.”

The best formation for Milan?

“Both Rennes and Slavia at home are fearsome opponents, I will always choose the best formation, also bearing in mind that in the league I won’t have Leao and Florenzi due to disqualification. We just have to think about doing well match after match, but the choices I make are always for the good of Milan.”

Adli’s resurgence…

“He is the example of someone who believes, a symbol of the group, of someone who works and doesn’t let go in negative moments. He was also good at changing roles during the season, so he is deserving of this. Changing role then also changes how you play the game, last year he played in the three-quarter and struggled to find space. This summer we talked about it and he was very willing to step into this position, he’s still not perfect but he’s doing well.”

Tags AC Milan Stefano Pioli Yacine Adli
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