Vincenzo Italiano said Fiorentina will ‘try to limit a very strong’ Milan side on Saturday, but the coach admitted the Viola ‘have a new defence’ against the Rossoneri.
Italiano’s men are currently seventh in Serie A with 18 points from the first 12 games and aim to bounce back from a 1-0 defeat to Juventus in the last round.
Fiorentina are unbeaten in two home games on the bounce but have struggled against the top team also at the Artemio Franchi – losing to both Inter and Napoli.
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This weekend, Milan arrive in Florence and Italiano has defensive problems ahead of the big game against the Rossoneri.
“We can’t do anything about suspensions,” Italiano said at a press conference. “[Matija] Nastasic’s injury was not needed.
“It could have been an important opportunity for him. The lad returned from the national team sad and I’m so sorry, because he’s a lad who is waiting for his moment. He’s an exemplary professional and I’m very sorry.
“Tomorrow we will have a new defence, we have prepared a new department and tomorrow we will see if we did well.”
Italiano might have to pick one of the midfielders in defence and revealed the players available.
“We have Igor, [Lorenzo] Venuti, [Sofyan] Amrabat and we have [Filippo] Frison. These are our four central players who will face the top of the table tomorrow,” he said.
“It will be a good exam, a difficult task. And it will be a way of dealing with players who are at the top right now.”
Milan are unbeaten in the league after 12 games and have won 10 of them to sit first with 32 points.
“Tomorrow, we face a team that haven’t lost yet. Milan know how to do everything,” Italiano continued. “When we go under, we never have the conviction and the strength to overturn the result.
“I always say that a team becomes valuable when it has the strength to take control of the ball, start over and turn around something negative.
“Milan started their journey several years ago, but we only started a few months ago.”
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Fiorentina CEO Joe Barone was asked about the rumours regarding the Saudi Public Investment Fund and a possible takeover of the Viola.
“I thought there was some other question about [Dusan] Vlahovic, since we talk about this situation before every match,” Italiano said.
“Fortunately, we are talking about something else today. These are things that don’t concern me, I think about the pitch and what I have to do during the week.”
Italiano then went on to praise Pioli and said Fiorentina are aiming to ‘limit a very strong team’ on Saturday.
“He’s a coach who is showing great value in Italy. Milan express themselves at a great level,” Italiano added. “There’s quality in everything they do.
“They are an aggressive team, who dribble and know how to restart. They are a consolidated group and I think it’s to do with the coach and the staff.
“I have great admiration for the coach, congratulations for what he is doing, and I will gladly greet him tomorrow.
“Whenever the Rossoneri have space, they can put everyone in difficulty. But we must insist on our principles, the match against Juventus was a game played well.
“We could have done more harm to the Bianconeri. Tomorrow, we will try to limit a very strong team.”