(Reuters) – AC Milan are determined to make up for Wednesday’s 3-0 defeat by Chelsea in the Champions League when they host Juventus for their ninth Serie A match of the season, manager Stefano Pioli said on Friday.
Both the defending champions and Juve are in need of a win to climb the standings as they sit at an underwhelming fifth and seventh place, respectively.
The match will also be a big test for manager Massimiliano Allegri who has his job on the line and needs to prove Juve can still recover from their poor start to the season.
Milan are unbeaten in four of their last five meetings in Serie A with the Turin-based side, with both of last season’s league matches ending with a draw.
“There’s in us the willingness and determination to do better than how we played in London,” Pioli told reporters.
“Yesterday the guys were tired but I saw they were eager. That does not mean we will win the match: let’s not forget what kind of team Juventus is and what kind of goals they have, but we will do our best.”
Pioli will be without several players, including defender Davide Calabria and midfielder Alexis Saelemaekers who may not return until next year.
“There has never been season this packed. Muscle injuries have risen by 20%. Unfortunately we also had injuries on international duty. I work with important specialists, we’ll try to do our best,” Pioli added.
The former Inter Milan boss praised Allegri, saying he was a competent manager who coaches a strong team.
(Reporting by Silvia Recchimuzzi in Gdansk; Editing by Christian Radnedge)