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Milan's Pioli relishing chance to pit wits against Mourinho

Milan's Pioli relishing chance to pit wits against Mourinho

Soccer Football - Serie A - AC Milan v Torino - San Siro, Milan, Italy - October 26, 2021 AC Milan coach Stefano Pioli celebrates after the match REUTERS/Daniele Mascolo

MILAN: AC Milan coach Stefano Pioli said he is looking forward to pitting his wits against AS Roma manager Jose Mourinho as his side prepare to travel to Rome for Sunday's (Oct 31) crunch Serie A showdown.

Milan have enjoyed their best start to a Serie A season for 67 years and after 10 games sit second on goal difference to Napoli having taken 28 points from the 30 available.

Roma also got off to an impressive start but have fallen off the pace set by Milan and Napoli ahead of Sunday's encounter.

"Mourinho is a great coach and manager," Pioli told a news conference on Saturday. "He is very good on a tactical and mental level.

"These are the sort of match ups you look forward to. "Preparing for matches is what I like best. We will try to find the right path for tomorrow as well.

"We expect a different match. The qualities of Roma are different from those of Torino (Milan's midweek opponents) who were an intense team."

Centre back Fikayo Tomori has been one of the standout stars for Milan so far, with Pioli reserving special praise for the player he brought in from English Premier League side Chelsea in the close season.

"Tomori has important characteristics for our way of defending," Pioli added. "He has an impressive mental and technical continuity both in training and in the game, and he has a great attitude.

"When you have this mentality it is easy to be ready for anything."

Pioli also said playmaker Brahim Diaz could start in Rome after recovering from coronavirus, while one from veteran duo Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Olivier Giroud will line up from the off, with the other on the bench.

Source: Reuters

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