AC Milan manager, Stephan Pioli, has stressed that the Rossoneri will not change their playing style to accommodate the threat from in-form Napoli striker Victor Osimhen when both sides clash in the second leg of their UEFA Champions League quarter-final tie at the Diego Armando Maradona Stadium later today.
The Nigeria international missed the first leg of the tie at the San Siro due to a muscle injury he picked while representing the Super Eagles in March in an Africa Cup of Nations double-header against Guinea-Bissau. Milan edged Napoli 1-0 in the encounter between two Italian heavyweights.
Osimhen returned to action for the Partenopei in their goalless draw against Hellas Verona over the weekend coming on for Giacomo Raspadori in the 73rd minute for Napoli who played one of their worst games of the season. The leaders recorded just one shot on target which only came in the 82nd minute of the game.
Speaking ahead of the all-important fixture, Pioli who has orchestrated two wins against the Serie A leaders in April will be hoping to make it three wins in a row against Luciano Spalleti’s men as they seek qualification to the semi-finals of the competition, however, he is cautious of the threat from Osimhen but he is adamant that the team won’t have to move extra pieces to accommodate the Nigerian.
“He is such a powerful, impressive and decisive striker, so we take his characteristics into account, but at the same time we have our own way of playing football and we won’t move away from that,” Pioli told the press at the pre-match media parley.
“We saw with previous Napoli games that a lot of it is about knowing the moment to slow down and speed up, and that is even more crucial with a player like Osimhen.
“It’ll be the third game in a few days and in both the previous ones we each took slightly different interpretations of both defending and attacking. There will be a few different players, some other positions we could take.”
“Napoli have not lost at home in the Champions League for a long time, they scored an average of three or four goals in the tournament so far against teams like Liverpool, Ajax, Rangers and Eintracht Frankfurt.
“We only have a minimal advantage, we need to play our game as a team and I think we control the ball very well when we have it. That will be an important element.”