AC Milan will return to the Champions League tomorrow by playing its first game of the group stage against none other than English giants Liverpool.
In this occasion, coach Stefano Pioli has spoken to the media during the press conference and started with the following:
On AC Milan’s growth recently:
“Surely there has been growth from last year’s Europa League preliminaries to today. All the experiences have served us, I think our start to the season is showing it.”
On Ibrahimovic’s absence:
“Ibrahimovic? Zlatan would not have been on the pitch from the first minute against Liverpool. There may be an inflammation in the tendon, he tried to take the field this morning, but the pain was there. Better not take risks. I think of Milan with Zlatan.”
On Milan’s level:
“Now the level is raised, but we wanted it with all our strength. We have to show that we can stay there.”
Who will you play in the attack?
“I will choose between Rebic and Olivier (Giroud) for the role of starting center forward. I’m sorry for Ibrahimovic, but we will try to do our best even without him.”
On Giroud’s fitness level:
“Olivier was a bit down on Monday, better today. He will certainly not have the 90 minutes in his legs, but he is fine and he is available to play. Ante comes from a great performance, both of them compensate well with the rest of the team.”
On the Champions League group:
“I don’t think there will be an affordable match. The group is very difficult, the opponents are very competitive, but we want to start writing our history as early as tomorrow evening”, declared coach Pioli.
How will the Milan players take the field tomorrow against Liverpool?
“We have to be intelligent on the pitch, understand the spaces that our opponents allow us. Liverpool normally attack high, we will have to be good by dribbling or looking for depth to avoid their pressing. We prepare the match in the best possible way. I am a fan of English football and I know Liverpool well. We will try to stay in the game on our own terms.”