Gattuso wary of Dzeko threat

Gennaro Gattuso backed Gonzalo Higuain to inspire AC Milan against Roma, while highlighting the threat posed by Edin Dzeko.

Roma striker Edin Dzeko will be among the key players to watch out for when his side takes faces AC Milan on Friday.   -  Getty Images

AC Milan must pay close attention to Edin Dzeko if it is to pick up its first points of the Serie A season against Roma on Friday, says Gennaro Gattuso.

Gattuso's men squandered a two-goal lead in their opening game of the 2018-19 campaign against Napoli, losing 3-2 after a disastrous second half.

Roma's visit to San Siro provides Milan with a chance to make amends but Gattuso knows his side cannot afford to give any space to Dzeko, who opened his account with a sublime volley against Torino on August 19.

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"Roma have changed since last time we faced them, and we too are different," he told reporters.

"I would like to see my team play as they did for the first 55 minutes against Napoli. However, Roma are an opponent with different characteristics.

"They have fast and decisive players. We have to be careful with Dzeko and with their set-pieces as well.

"We need to focus on our game and keep our composure at all times."

Gonzalo Higuain is yet to score for Milan following his loan move from Juventus but Gattuso has been impressed with the Argentina international. The 30-year-old scored 16 league goals for Juventus in 2017-18 and the Rossoneri boss hopes a partnership with Hakan Calhanoglu can help him get off the mark for Milan.

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"Higuain makes us play better and allows us to go high up the pitch," added Gattuso.

"I'm very satisfied with his past performance. But we know we have to give him more support in the final third.

"Calhanoglu can be a solution. Very often he cuts back and makes dangerous crosses into the heart of the area, that can make the difference.

"When Higuain had the ball [at Napoli], he almost never lost it. When we reach high up the pitch, we must find him."

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