Pioli asks Milan to fight like Zlatan as Ibra returns to face Inter
‘We must all have the face of Ibrahimovic’: AC Milan boss Stefano Pioli calls on his side to battle like veteran striker Zlatan as he overcomes illness in time for derby with Inter
- Stefano Pioli wants AC Milan to fight like Zlatan Ibrahimovic in Inter derby clash
- The legendary Swede has recovered from an illness in time for the San Siro clash
- Pioli wants his side to follow the example of Ibrahimovic in the tough match-up
- Milan have improved following Ibrahimovic’s return to the club during January
AC Milan’s Zlatan Ibrahimovic is likely to feature in Sunday’s Serie A derby with Inter Milan after overcoming illness, according to head coach Stefano Pioli, who has urged his players to follow the striker’s example.
The 38-year-old Swede, who joined the club for a second spell on a free transfer during the January transfer window, missed Milan’s 1-1 draw with Hellas Verona last Sunday.
But Pioli said Ibrahimovic should recover in time to feature in the Derby della Madonnina between the city rivals.
Stefano Pioli wants AC Milan to follow Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s lead against Inter Milan on Sunday
The legendary striker has inspired a seven game unbeaten run since his return to AC Milan
Pioli faces a huge task against title challenging Inter, but believes the veteran has the answer
‘He has undergone an individual training programme,’ Pioli said.
‘Today he is training with the squad and if he gets through that, he will be available tomorrow.’
Milan are undefeated since Ibrahimovic’s arrival last month, with five wins and two draws in all competitions, and Pioli believes the veteran’s presence can inspire his team-mates to success in the derby.
Ibrahimovic has returned from illness just in time to face his former club at the San Siro
‘We are facing a team that hasn’t lost for some time,’ he said of Inter whose only league defeat this season was at home to champions Juventus in October.
‘Tomorrow we must all have the face of Ibrahimovic, fired up and determined. We must maximise our potential.’
Pioli’s side are ninth on 32 points, 19 adrift of second-placed Inter, who are hoping to close the three-point gap to leaders Juve.
‘Inter did better than us from the start of the season until December, but now we are trying to make up lost ground and we hope to play well in this derby,’ he said.
‘You prepare for every game with the intention of winning, but there are some matches that are worth more than others. Derby games are must-win fixtures.’
Antonio Conte’s Inter Milan featuring Romelu Lukaku will be a tough opposition in the derby
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