Pirlo relishing special title tussle with former club Milan

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Juventus coach Andrea Pirlo said on Tuesday he is relishing what will be a special clash with AC Milan, the side he made more than 400 appearances for as a player, as he looks to revitalise the champions’ hopes of making it 10 Serie A titles in a row.

Juventus travel to league leaders Milan on Wednesday, with Pirlo’s side sitting fifth in the standings, 10 points behind leaders Milan, having played a game fewer.

Pirlo, while looking forward to the contest at San Siro, where he played for 10 years between 2001 and 2011, suggested the importance to the title race, with so much of the season to go, has been overplayed.

“Tomorrow will be a special evening for me, having experienced many memories with Milan,” Pirlo told a news conference.

“It was wonderful as a player; I think it will be the same as a coach.

“We know the importance of this match. Milan-Juventus always was fascinating as a player and will be as a coach. We’ll do our best, but I don’t think it’s decisive for the rest of the championship.”

Milan coach Stefano Pioli, who confirmed Zlatan Ibrahimovic is still not fit to return from injury, echoed Pirlo’s comments on the significance of the match in the title race.

“Compared to last year we have 17 points more, it is clear that our level of performance has increased,” Pioli said in a news conference.

“While I don’t want to dampen the enthusiasm or not be ambitious, it’s not right to talk about the turning point or match on matchday 16, because we face every match as if it were the last.”