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Balotelli desperate for derby debut – Abbiati

Milan goalkeeper Christian Abbiati believes returning striker Mario Balotelli is desperate to make a derby impact against Inter.

Balotelli has yet to make his competitive return with Milan since signing a loan deal from Liverpool, with the 25-year-old starting in a friendly against third-tier Mantova during the international break, scoring a goal and setting up another.

But Abbiati has been impressed by Balotelli at training and hinted that the forward may get some game-time against Inter on Saturday.

“Balo is a great guy, he just has to follow the few rules we have in the dressing room,” Abbiati said on Thursday, according to Gazzetta World.

“If he mas made mistakes, they have all happened off the field.

“He has looked good in training and I can see that he really wants to face Inter.”

In his last season season for Milan – in 2013-14 – Balotelli scored 14 Serie A goals in 30 appearances.

Milan have started the new campaign with a loss and a win, while Inter are perfect through two matches.

But having not lost in four derbies, Abbiati feels Milan can find something extra.

“The derby is always emotional,” the 38-year-old shot-stopper said.

“It’s true it’s only the third match of the season but it is a match that is always felt by the fans, along with myself.

“In 2003 we made history by first eliminating Inter [in the UEFA Champions League] and then defeating Juventus in the final.

“I cherish those times.”

Fri 11 Sep, 2015
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