Pioli previews ‘stimulating’ Juve clash and admits: “We must make better use of our chances”

By Isak Möller -

On the eve of the clash between Milan and Juventus, Stefano Pioli spoke to the media at his usual press conference this afternoon. The game is very important for both sides and the pressure will be on all parties involved. 

The Rossoneri are currently in fourth place, level on points with the Bianconeri, and it’s not hard to realise that this game is huge. Whoever wins it will get a great boost for the final three games of the season, which will decide everything.

Pioli answered the questions of the media, as well as the fans, at the press conference and shared his thoughts on the game (via MilanNews).

Tomorrow a great away game…

“For tomorrow evening, the whole path we have covered will be useful. All the positive things, all the past difficulties. Playing as a mature team and understanding how to interpret the match will be fundamental characteristics for tomorrow.”

It will be a final tomorrow. How have you prepared for it?

“It’s the most stimulating and fascinating game, I think so. Dreams are only beautiful if they come true. We prepared it with our strategy, like all games. Being so important, we prepared it in the best possible way.”

Will it be a do or die situation?

“Whoever wins has great chances of going to the Champions League but it won’t be over. There are many other matches. We will also have a direct clash with Atalanta and this makes us masters of our destiny. This is the calendar.

“It’s strange to have a midweek round two weeks before the end of the season but we only have to think about tomorrow’s match. Winning against Juventus would be an extraordinary result. There will be difficulties, they are strong but we will have to show our qualities in the 90 minutes.”

How important is Zlatan?

“The importance of Zlatan is evident but the victories come from the interpretation of the matches of the whole team. We are the team that shoots the most from outside the area but scores the least. We must make better use of our chances and be more compact in the game. But it’s clear that Ibrahimovic will be able to give us a great hand.”

Donnarumma and the ultras, how much does the situation weigh on the player?

“At the moment, surely all of Milan and the players have only one goal, that is Milan’s interests and not personal interests. I have no doubts about the professionalism of the players. There is no certainty about the future but we are only focused on tomorrow’s match and the season.”

Have you talked to Gigio and how has he been this last week?

“I talk to him as with all his teammates and we talked about tomorrow’s game. We talked about the strategy for tomorrow. He and his teammates are focused on tomorrow’s game.”

Do Milan have enough fuel?

“Absolutely yes. The mental aspect is more important. We were hoping to be here. The stimuli are at their peak. We have the energy to complete this season.”

Besides Leao and Rebic, could there be a chance for Brahim in tomorrow’s game?

“Ibrahimovic will not be alone in the attacking phase. You don’t need many strikers to be offensive. The choice will depend on the characteristics of the players who will take the field. The important thing is that the players worry the opposing defence.”

Milan have never won at Allianz Stadium. Can you break this taboo?

“We believe in it. We know that we face an opponent with great quality and strong players but we believe in our abilities. Milan want to beat these taboos and we can achieve an important performance with intensity and quality.”

Are Juventus’ strengths on the flanks?

“We always keep in mind the qualities of the opponents. We will have to limit their qualities when they have the ball and be good when we have possession. Juventus have great players and we will have to try to cover the mistakes of our teammates. The fewer defensive duels we will have, the better it will be.”

Did Milan find something against Benevento?

“In certain situations, it doesn’t depend on the opponent but on us, if you want to make an effective play you have to move the ball quickly. Tomorrow we have to manage the game well, try to be unpredictable.”

Would a victory against Juventus put the Bianconeri in difficulty in the Champions race?

“Honestly, I don’t know if it will be decisive for the future but it is for the present. With a positive result, we would have even more confidence in our goal.”

Can it be important for your history as a coach against Juventus?

“I don’t know if it will be decisive for the future, but it is crucial for our movement, for what we dream of achieving and for the levels we want to achieve. It’s a game that would give us even more confidence in case of victory, and we are aware. I saw a team mentally prepared for this match.”

Is having all the players available an extra weapon?

“It’s very important to the initial strategy and to the repair plans. Having them all available is very positive.”

Milan have never got a point at the Allianz Stadium. Is it a pressure factor?

“The pressure is on both teams, but we wanted this pressure by increasing expectations, we have the right attitude to play these games.”

Will you need the Rio Ave spirit in Turin?

“Yes, because that evening we wanted it at all costs and tomorrow night could be the turning point.”

The game is scheduled for 20:45 CEST tomorrow and it will be played at Allianz Stadium. Although Milan are the strongest away side in Serie A this season, it will be a big challenge to come away with a good result from the game.

READ MORE: Juventus ponder signing of Milan captain Romagnoli for post-Chiellini era

Tags AC Milan Juventus Stefano Pioli
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