Mihajlovic: Balotelli can make difference for AC Milan

One of the David versus Goliath clashes of the year could see the enigmatic attacker complete his comeback from injury

AC Milan's coach Mihajlovic gives instructions to Balotelli during their match against Palermo in their Serie A soccer match at the San Siro stadium in Milan

The return of Mario Balotelli to the AC Milan starting line-up may take place when the Rossoneri travel to Alessandria for their Coppa Italia semi-final first-leg on Tuesday.

Cameo roles in recent meetings with Fiorentina and Empoli have helped the Italian’s return to fitness after four months out with a groin injury and coach Sinisa Mihajlovic is considering deploying the forward on Tuesday night.

“Balotelli needs to play and must play more as he can be important for us so let’s see who starts tomorrow, maybe he will play from the beginning,” Mihajlovic told reporters.

Sinisa Mihajlovic AC Milan

“There will be changes but the team on the field will play to win, if I see anyone distracted and not fully committed then I won’t select them for Inter [on Sunday].

“Luiz Adriano returned on Thursday and he is focused, trained well and again we will see if he starts, but he will travel with us.”

A 2-2 draw at the Stadio Carlo Castellani continued the Diavolo’s decent form to ease the pressure on the Serbian’s position in Milan, with the 46-year-old aware that his side are under great scrutiny.

“Here it seems that criticism is always due,” said Mihajlovic. “I see other teams draw with Carpi but recently we beat them well, it is true that we get more than our fair share but if we had won against Empoli, there would have been nothing said.

“We are used to criticism and know that certain things have to improve, having led twice we should have won on Saturday.”

Looking ahead to taking on Lega Pro outfit Alessandria in the Coppa Italia, the former Sampdoria coach was adamant that his side will not be the Grigi’s next big upset.

“Our goal is not to be the latest team beaten by Alessandria on their extraordinary journey as these two matches are crucial to our season, but if we think it will be easy we will risk losing,” concluded the Milan coach.



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