Pioli Ahead of Zagreb: “We Know the Importance of the Game”

With the Rossonerri set to face Croatian outfits Dinamo Zagreb within match-week five of the Champions League tomorrow evening, Milan boss Pioli previewed the significant fixture in a press conference.

So far this season, the Milanese club have proven that last year’s scudetto was far from a fluke as they have continued where they have left off, establishing their dominance across the top-flight Italian league.

As it stands, Pioli’s side currently sit in second with a total of 23 points, only three points behind the league-leaders Napoli and have won four of their last five fixtures within the Serie A.

However, Milan’s run within the Champions League has not been as successful thus far as they currently sit in third within Group E with a total of four points as they suffered two brutal defeats to Premier League giants Chelsea.

With only two points separating both sides from qualification to the knock out stages of the tournament, Pioli is aware that there is plenty on the line within their trip to Zagreb, as the club is eager to clinch a spot within the Round of 16 for the first time since 2014.

As relayed by Italian news outlet Tuttomercato, Pioli provided his insight on Dinamo Zagreb as a club and having to play them away from home:

“I think playing in a hot environment is more motivating and stimulating than in other situations: it will give our opponents extra charge, but our fans will also be there. We know that to overcome certain challenges you need to have that character and mentality to stay focused on our game.

“It is a team that defends well and starts very well. It has a very good player like Petkovic who makes the team go up and another player like Orsic who is very fast. Being compact and being lucid in negative and positive transitions will be important tomorrow evening”.

In addition, the Emilian tactician discussed his side’s mental state heading into the vital fixture:

“We are fine. Of course we have some ailments, but we are fine mentally and physically. We know the importance of the game and we have prepared it as best we can.”