Pioli: ‘Porto games decisive, Zlatan not ready to start’

by | Oct 18, 2021 13:45

Milan coach Stefano Pioli said the two games against Porto could be ‘decisive’ for the outcome in the Champions League group stage. ‘Zlatan not in a position to start’.

The Rossoneri are immediately back in action after the comeback win against Hellas Verona on Saturday.

Pioli’s men must mount another comeback in the European cup, as they are without a point and bottom in Group B.

Porto have picked up one point against Atletico Madrid and the coach admitted it will not be easy at the Estadio do Dragao.

“We face a solid, compact opponent,” Pioli said at a press conference. “They have fast attacking players and a well prepared coach.

“It will be a match that will present difficulties that are typical of high-level games.”

And with the current situation in Group B, Pioli stressed the two games against Porto are already ‘decisive’.

Zlatan returns to the Champions League, immediately aims for record

“The two games against Porto could be decisive for the final outcome,” he said and revealed he might make some changes for the game.

“[Rade] Krunic can start the match, he fights for the place with [Daniel] Maldini,” Pioli said. “Rade is fine, he can either start or enter during the game.

“[Ismael] Bennacer is fine too, he’s ready for tomorrow.”

The win in the Champions League is one of the things missing to make Milan great again, according to Pioli.

“We lack things to make us great again,” the coach continued. “We are on the right path, but we still have many steps to overcome.

“We must remain focused and clear-headed in every situation. We have paid dearly for every mistake: we need total attention.

“We lost the first two due to two moments of carelessness.”

Pioli then spoke about Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s conditions ahead of the match against Porto.

“He’s certainly better, but he’s not in the position to play from the first minute,” Pioli added and then spoke about the potential duel with Portuguese centre-back Pepe.

“They are two physical and temperamental players. Ibra is fine, but it’s very important for us to have him in a good condition. He’s ready to compete with any player.”

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