Milan shift focus to Inter showdown

MILAN – AC Milan’s fightback from a disastrous start to their Serie A campaign faces another stiff test Sunday when they are guests of city rivals Inter at the San Siro.

Saturday
Palermo         vs     Genoa        21:45
Sunday
Sampdoria     vs     Chievo        13:30
Parma         vs     Catania        16:00
Bologna         vs     Fiorentina
Atalanta         vs     AS Roma
Juventus         vs     Siena
Cagliari         vs     Torino
Inter         vs     Milan        21:45
Monday
Udinese         vs     Napoli        20:00
Lazio         vs     US Pescara    22:00

MILAN – AC Milan’s fightback from a disastrous start to their Serie A campaign faces another stiff test Sunday when they are guests of city rivals Inter at the San Siro.

Milan’s start to the season, only a few months after a runner-up finish to Juventus and just over a year after their title win in 2011, was their worst in history and left coach Massimiliano Allegri hanging onto his job by a thread.

Allegri, however, has overseen a huge change in fortunes to see his side move up to third with 13 games left and stun Barcelona 2-0 on Wednesday in the first leg of their Champions League last 16 tie.

With Juve on top, and boasting a four-point lead on Napoli, it has long been considered that either team will duel for the scudetto, especially with Milan 11 points off the pace but tied on points with Lazio (44) in fourth.

Inter, in fifth a further point adrift, have lost momentum in recent weeks and welcome a Milan side which should be brimming with confidence.

Any fears that the win against Barca would ease expectations ahead of the Inter, fixture, were quickly kicked into touch by Allegri.

“We can’t get carried away, we have to recharge our batteries and get ready for Inter. It’s another significant obstacle that we have to overcome,” said Allegri after Wednesday’s match.

A humiliating 4-1 defeat for Inter away to Fiorentina then paved the way for Milan to move up to third place, and on Thursday key Inter defender Andrea Ranocchia picked up a knee niggle that could rule him out for Sunday.

Stramaccioni, however, pledged that Milan’s heroics in Europe will count for nothing on Sunday.

“It’s a derby match, we know that Milan are in great form, but we need to compete and we will,” said Stramaccioni.

 

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