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Stefano Pioli determined to stop Inter Milan clinching Scudetto against his team

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 21 Apr 2024

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AC Milan boss Stefano Pioli wants victory “for several reasons” as they prepare for their derby clash with Inter Milan on Monday.

Milan were knocked out of the Europa League at the hands of fellow Serie A side Roma in midweek and will be looking to bounce back with a victory against their city rivals.

The Rossoneri sit second in the table behind Monday’s opponents and a win for Inter means they could also clinch the title, something Pioli insists his side will use for extra motivation.

He said on acmilan.com: “Pride, redemption, belonging, responsibility, all good terms to describe the game that awaits us.

“Because of the league table, the Europa League exit, and for the fact that they want to win the Scudetto in this game, we have a big opportunity. A victory would be important for several reasons.

“I have a lot of faith in my players, they know how important the game is. The more you play and gain trust if you understand how to stay in the game, it will be fundamental not to give away chances at the start like we have done in recent derbies.”

Milan will also be looking for revenge after they were thrashed 5-1 in the reverse fixture during Inter’s impressive start to the season and they have been beaten the last five times the sides have played each other.

Pioli knows his side have to be at their very best to get a result on Monday.

“We had high expectations in the fixture earlier this season, then we weren’t able to overcome some obstacles during the game. As far as the tactical choices go, we are open to every option.

“We will need to play an exceptional game, we come off the back of five consecutive defeats against them and they have always given us problems.

“They deserve to win the Scudetto but we need to do everything we can to ensure it doesn’t happen tomorrow. We have worked hard in the last few days, we are totally focused on best preparing for the game”.

A win for Milan could all but secure their Champions League status for next season and, with nothing else to play for this season, Pioli has set his side the objective of finishing the season strongly.

He added: “I ask my AC Milan to win and do well from now until the very end. After seven wins on the bounce, we didn’t play as we could have done, we need to give it our all and do so until the end of the season.

“Journalists and fans have the right to criticise, tomorrow there will be 70,000 fans spurring on AC Milan, nothing else matters. The squad shouldn’t play for me, but for the fans and to honour the shirt.

“I want to give everything as I have done since my first day, I have been given a lot and I still feel like I have a lot to give to this team. Work is the only verb I know, we will try to win every game from now until the end and then we will see.”

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