AC Milan boss Stefano Pioli: Sassuolo match not do or die but we need a win

By Sports Desk December 29, 2023

AC Milan manager Stefano Pioli insists his side’s match against Sassuolo is not do-or-die, but demanded a return to winning ways in Serie A.

The Rossoneri have picked up just one victory from their last three league appearances to slip 11 points behind rivals Inter Milan at the summit of the table.

But speaking ahead of Milan’s home clash against Sassuolo on Saturday, Pioli said: “We need a win and I expect a convincing performance.

“Tomorrow’s game isn’t about me, nor is it do or die, and there’s still a long way to go in the season.

“We’ve studied Sassuolo. They are a side that builds from the back and creates chances. But they also concede a lot, too, so we’ll have to take advantage of their frailties, especially in defence.”

Sassuolo sit in 15th, just three points above the relegation zone, and head to the San Siro with only one point from a possible 12.

But Pioli will be aware that they have claimed high-profile victims in Juventus and Inter so far this season.

He continued: “The players have no fear and they want to overcome difficulties. We must always give our all.

“We have made some mistakes so far that we’ve paid for. We can’t find that consistency, even within the same game. But we are united and continuously looking to get better. We’re creating a lot, but we need to be more clinical and concede less.”

Pioli will hope to have Luka Jovic available. The former Real Madrid and Fiorentina forward, who has scored three times in his previous three league matches, sustained an ankle injury in his side’s 2-2 draw against Salernitana last Friday.

However, he trained with his team-mates this week and could feature.

Olivier Giroud, leading scorer for AC Milan in 2023, is set to lead the line, but the Frenchman has netted just three league goals at the San Siro this season.

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