The Rossoneri play hosts to Inter at the Stadio San Siro at 20:45 CET on Sunday evening, but Pioli doesn’t think that Milan’s status as Serie A leaders makes them favourites for the game. Sandro Tonali also expressed his opinion that his side aren’t favourites.
“Inter are favourites,” Pioli said at his pre-match press conference on Saturday. “They’re favourites because they won the title last season quite comfortably, and they know what it takes to win.
“We’re doing well, the season is long, but it’s clear that Inter are a strong, compact side.”
Pioli then played down the idea of his players being fatigued after midweek Champions League action, and stressed just how different a derby game is to any other.
“The derby is always the derby,” Pioli said. “It’s a historic game. The most important thing is to show up and then to win it.”
Forward Zlatan Ibrahimovic is likely to play an important part for the Rossoneri, and he knows what it takes to come out on top of the derby.
“Zlatan is a phenomenon and he keeps showing it with everything he does,” Pioli said. “He’s doing well, he’s in good shape.
“He’s coming into this after an excellent game against Roma, and he’s just as motivated as all of his teammates.”