The league match against Lazio is a thing of the past, with the Rossoneri now looking ahead to a game for which they've been waiting for seven years. AC Milan are back in the Champions League, and their return will take place in a truly iconic setting: Anfield. Liverpool v AC Milan is a clash that brings back historic memories, but it's now very much part of a fascinating present. Coach Stefano Pioli met the press at Milanello to talk about tomorrow's 21:00 CEST kick-off.
FROM EUROPA LEAGUE QUALIFIERS TO ANFIELD
"Our growth over the past year is clear for all to see. Our experiences have helped us to grow and improve, and the beginning of this season has shown that this team knows how to play and how to approach games. The level is higher now; it's what we wanted and it's a chance for us to show that we can mix it with the best."
THE ABSENCES IBRA
"Zlatan has had an inflammation; he gave it a go this morning but it's useless to take risks at this point of the season. I see AC Milan with Zlatan and I absolutely think we'll have him back soon. Absences are a part of football; I'll need to choose between Ante and Olivier but we have the cover."
HIS CHAMPIONS LEAGUE DEBUT AS A COACH
"Many of us have never played in the Champions League, but football is football. We know what to do and how to try and play against a really strong side. We've prepared really well for this game. There are no easy fixtures in this group; our opponents are all highly competitive and have been playing European football for a while. It's a chance for us to start writing our own history; we have a lot of belief in our own quality."
"He won't be able to complete a full 90 - being out for two weeks is tough - but he's doing well and is available. Ante, meanwhile, is going into this one following a brilliant performance; I'm sure that they will be ready and that both of them have characteristics that fit well with the rest of the team."
THE TACTICAL APPROACH TO THE GAME
"We need to be intelligent on the pitch and understand where the space is. Liverpool want to push and won't want to sit back and wait. We'll need to bit their high press by combining well when playing out from the back or going to the long ball."