Zlatan Ibrahimovic could be available for Milan against Inter, says Pioli

If Zlatan Ibrahimovic gets through Milan training on Saturday unscathed, he will be in contention to face Inter this weekend.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic sat out AC Milan's contest against Hellas Verona.   -  Getty Images

AC Milan coach Stefano Pioli is hopeful Zlatan Ibrahimovic will be fit to face Inter in the Derby della Madonnina on Sunday.

Veteran striker Ibrahimovic sat out last weekend's 1-1 draw against Hellas Verona through illness and has spent this week undertaking an individual training programme.

Milan is unbeaten in seven matches since re-signing the 38-year-old and he could return to take on Scudetto-chasing Inter at San Siro.

"Ibrahimovic has been doing a specifically planned training regime aimed at getting him back for [Saturday's] training session. If he takes that step he will be available," said Pioli.

"We have done everything to get him back from flu and calf fatigue. That path has been the right one but now he has to complete training with the team."

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Inter sits second in Serie A, three points adrift of leader Juventus, and has not lost a domestic match since going down to the Bianconeri on October 6.

With Milan sitting ninth and needing a strong finish to the season if it is to have any chance of making the top four, Pioli called on his team to use Ibrahimovic's famous confidence and desire as inspiration. "I don't know what the distance is between us and them, but I know we will be facing a team that hasn't lost for a long time," said the Milan boss.

'Must have conviction and positivity'

"We must all have the face of Ibra: fired up and ready to play. We respect our opponents, they are a strong side in every department, compact and technical. It will be a difficult game but we must have conviction and positivity.

"You have to prove you have clear ideas and that you prepared for the game well. You have to carry it on for 90 minutes. There will be difficulties but well-defined concepts and ideas must keep you as a team from start to finish.

"We have to do this [on Sunday] and for the rest of the season. An important period begins tomorrow."

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