Pioli explains decision to start Chukwueze and Pobega against Newcastle

By Isak Möller -

Ahead of the clash between AC Milan and Newcastle, Stefano Pioli spoke to the media about the Rossoneri’s need to bounce back following the derby defeat at the weekend. 

Milan had a tough Saturday evening as Inter prevailed 5-1 in the big derby, showing that the Rossoneri still have a long way to go. Therefore, Pioli’s men will be looking to bounce back with a strong performance against Newcastle tonight.

Speaking to Sky ahead of the game, as cited by FootballItalia, Pioli shared his thoughts on the task at hand. He also explained why he has decided to play both Tommaso Pobega and Samuel Chukwueze from start.

On the game…

“We return to San Siro to play the first Champions League game. It is a different competition, we must not think about what we failed to do last time, but focus on playing to our strengths with our own characteristics.

“This is the first game of a tough group, so we need the right approach against an opponent that makes aggression, intensity and physical strength their greatest weapons.”

On bouncing back…

“It is always about mentality. You need a plan and a strategy, which we have, but after that mentality, focus, determination and concentration make the difference. I am confident the team is ready for this match.”

On the changes…

“Chukwueze is rapid, good at one-on-one situations, taking on a tall and physical full-back, but one with a very different pace to him. Pobega is very good at running into the box and entering those spaces.”

On Tonali’s return…

“It is certainly going to be strange. He was with us it feels until yesterday and we had wonderful experiences together. This is football and life, what matters is that you hold on to those moments.”

Milan’s group is very tough with Borussia Dortmund and PSG also looking to advance to the knockout stage. Starting the Champions League campaign well, therefore, is absolutely essential for Stefano Pioli’s men.

Tags AC Milan Newcastle


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