Alessio Romagnoli wants AC Milan’s trip to face Chievo in Serie A on Sunday to kick-start a 10-game winning streak to close the season with a late push for Champions League qualification.
Milan are sixth in Serie A after 28 matches, trailing third-placed Roma – who they face on the final day of the season – by nine points.
Although Sinisa Mihajlovic’s side have booked a place in the Coppa Italia final, a 2-0 defeat to Sassuolo last weekend means they have won just two of their last five league outings.
The Serbian coach was sent off for dissent during that loss and will subsequently serve a touchline ban in Verona.
Romagnoli insists they have not given up hope of finishing inside the top three this term, but he acknowledges they cannot afford to drop any more points.
“We know we didn’t play well in the last game versus Sassuolo. We went there to do well, but now is the time to move on and bounce back,” said Romagnoli.
“We need to go to the Bentegodi this weekend, play our game and it’s important that we win.
“Our goal remains Champions League qualification and while we can still achieve that, we will fight until the very end.
“We’re in good shape and we know where we went wrong in the last game and we cannot repeat those mistakes.
“If we want to qualify for the Champions League, I think we have to win every single game from now until the end of the season.”
Chievo have been solid at the Bentegodi in recent weeks, however, losing just one of their last six home matches in the top flight – a 4-0 defeat to leaders Juventus.
Rolando Maran’s side appear safe in 10th position and will harbour hope of a first win over Milan since December 2005.
Sergio Pellissier was on target in a 2-1 victory that day, and he may be deployed at the forefront of the Chievo attack once more this weekend.
Maran thinks it is time for the Verona-based side to end the hoodoo and take three points against Milan.
“I did not know [it was more than 10 years since beating Milan], but I would say that is too much. We want to give a great performance,” he said.
Milan have been boosted by the returns of Philippe Mexes and Luiz Adriano to full training, but Riccardo Montolivo (Achilles) remains a doubt.
Key Opta stats:
– Chievo have lost 20 games against AC Milan so far – more than against any other opponent in the top-flight. The Gialloblu have won only twice against the Rossoneri.
– Milan’s nine-game unbeaten run came to an end last Sunday against Sassuolo (W5 D4); the Rossoneri also failed to score for the first time after nine rounds with a goal.
– Chievo have dropped the joint-most points from leading situations so far in this campaign (18, level with Empoli).
– Giacomo Bonaventura has had a hand in 13 goals so far for Milan, scoring six and supplying seven assists.
– Carlos Bacca has failed to score for three games in a row – his longest run without scoring so far in Serie A was four games, between November and December.
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