Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Milan v Palermo: Mihajlovic´s men seek response to derby disappointment

SoccerNews in Serie A 17 Sep 2015

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Milan have no time to dwell on last weekend’s disappointing derby defeat against Inter as they face a tough test against unbeaten Palermo on Saturday.

Sinisa Mihajlovic suffered a second defeat in his third Serie A match in charge of Milan as Inter took the bragging rights in a 1-0 win last Sunday.

Milan had plenty of opportunities in an open contest, with Luiz Adriano spurning two great chances and Mario Balotelli hitting the woodwork on his first appearance since returning to the club on loan from Liverpool.

Following the defeat, Mihajlovic credited Milan’s performance and he will have seen enough to believe they can put a run of good form together.

But starting that against a Palermo side who have taken seven points from three Serie A games this term – and who won the corresponding fixture 2-0 last season – will be no easy feat.

And Milan full-back Mattia De Sciglio is well aware that his team will need to be at their best to bounce back from their derby heartache.

“We will all have to put that extra bit more effort into the match compared to the derby,” he told Milan’s official website.

“Palermo are an organised side whom we have always struggled against.”

Palermo started their season with back-to-back 1-0 victories against Genoa and Udinese respectively, but needed an 88th-minute equaliser from Uros Djurdjevic to clinch a 2-2 draw against newly promoted Carpi last time out. 

The visiting fans may feel that a wounded Milan are there for the taking this weekend, but attacking midfielder Franco Vazquez was keen to temper expectations and highlighted the threat of opposing striker Carlos Bacca.

“If we start looking too far ahead then we will end up making things hard for ourselves,” the Italy international told Gazzetta dello Sport.

“Against Milan we want to repeat our performance from last season. If I could take away a Milan player I would choose Bacca, who is a very strong forward.”

Palermo finished just one place below Milan in 11th last term, but Vazquez is keen not to set unrealistic expectations.

“If we aim too high we’ll end up hurting ourselves,” he added. “If something more than staying up happens then all the better.

“Repeating the 49 points we got last season is a challenge. Possible, but not easy.”

Milan remain without Jeremy Menez (back), M’Baye Niang (foot) and Andrea Bertolacci (thigh), while Luca Rigoni (knock) is a doubt for Palermo.

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