The great Arrigo Sacchi is in awe of "genius" Luciano Spalletti's Napoli team, comparing them to his Milan side and Pep Guardiola's Barcelona.

Sacchi's Rossoneri were widely considered one of the greatest club teams of all time, but the coach sees similarities in Napoli's class of 2022-23.

The Partenopei are unbeaten through 12 matches in Serie A, opening up a five-point gap at the top already as they chase a first Scudetto since Diego Maradona's time at the club.

In the Champions League, Napoli have five wins from five, including remarkable 4-1 and 6-1 defeats of Liverpool and Ajax respectively.

Sacchi, in an interview with Il Mattino, suggested a run to the semi-finals should be "the minimum goal" for this season, while he is backing them for domestic success.

His praise went further, too, as he said: "This Napoli are spectacular and a team one step away from legend.

"They are in the wake of the greats of the past, [Rinus] Michels' Ajax, Guardiola's Barcelona and my unbeatable Milan.

"I never get tired of watching them play. How could I? There is style, there is pride, there is a spirit of belonging, there is beauty, and there is a coach who has put ideas at the centre of everything.

"In a country where we only look for profit, Spalletti focuses on merit, on strategy, and not on tactics."

Among teams in Europe's top five leagues, Napoli have won the joint-most matches in all competitions (15 – also Bayern Munich, Paris Saint-Germain) and have the outright best winning percentage (88.2).

Only Bayern (69) and PSG (54) have netted more goals (50 for Napoli), while the Bundesliga giants are the sole side averaging more goals per game (3.45 vs 2.94).

Napoli's early season success is all the more impressive given the number of stalwart stars who left the club ahead of the campaign.

Kalidou Koulibaly and Fabian Ruiz were sold for significant fees, while greats Dries Mertens and Lorenzo Insigne moved on at the end of their contracts.

But Napoli invested superbly, signing Khvicha Kvaratskhelia, Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa, Kim Min-jae and a host of impressive loan recruits.

"It's a lesson for everyone: ideas are worth more than money," Sacchi continued.

"What [owner Aurelio] De Laurentiis did this summer is something extraordinary: he took semi-unknowns and put them in a project where there was a vision, which many clubs lack.

"And the rest was done by the genius of Luciano."

Jurgen Klopp thinks Napoli can go all the way to the Champions League final if they can maintain their current level of performance.

The Liverpool manager has already felt the force of Luciano Spalletti's in-form side this season, losing 4-1 at the Stadio Diego Armando Maradona on matchday one of the Champions League group stage.

Napoli sit top of Group A with five wins from five games, and also lead Serie A by five points after beating Sassuolo 4-0 on Saturday.

When questioned at a press conference ahead of Tuesday's return fixture at Anfield whether Napoli can reach the Champions League final, Klopp said: "I think if they can play like they play at the moment, they have a good chance to go to the final... I think Napoli is the team in form in Europe, they play really well.

"Spalletti is a very experienced coach, has worked everywhere pretty much, and it looks like all his experience and a few really good signings and good decisions, he brought a group together which works on an exceptionally high level together."

Napoli have not lost since April, and have won a staggering 13 consecutive matches.

Liverpool have had a comparatively poor start to their season, sitting ninth in the Premier League with just four wins from 12 games.

They have fared well in the Champions League, though, winning four of their five group games to qualify along with Napoli for the last 16 with one game to go.

In order to leapfrog the Italians and top the group, Liverpool will need to win by at least four clear goals on Merseyside.

Klopp is not "scared" of facing Napoli again three days after his team were beaten 2-1 at home by Leeds United.

"When I speak about the positive aspects of Napoli at the moment it is because I am a football lover," he said.

"I'm not afraid or scared [of playing them] it's just a tough challenge, that's all. I really respect what they are doing and I know Luciano respects what we have done the last few years."

Inter's on-loan striker Romelu Lukaku has suffered another injury setback just three weeks before the World Cup gets under way in Qatar.

The Belgium international only returned last week after spending two months on the sidelines with a thigh injury, scoring on his comeback in a 4-0 Champions League rout of Viktoria Plzen.

Lukaku came off the bench in a 3-0 Serie A win over Sampdoria on Saturday, but it remains to be seen when he will be in action again.

Inter on Monday revealed he has done damage to his hamstring and face a wait to discover the extent of the damage.

"Romelu Lukaku underwent clinical-instrumental tests this morning at the Humanitas Institute in Rozzano," a statement released by the Nerazzurri said.

"The investigations revealed a resentment of the myotendinous scar of the hamstring of the left thigh. The player's condition will be re-evaluated in a few days."

Lukaku rejoined Inter from Chelsea on a season-long loan deal in June but has endured a frustrating start to his second spell at San Siro.

Belgium face Canada in their first game of the World Cup at Al Rayyan Stadium on November 23.

Newcastle United's Bruno Guimaraes has only played 27 games for the club since arriving from Lyon, and he has been so impressive that he is now a target of Barcelona.

Guimaraes, 24, spent three seasons with Lyon before Newcastle secured his services in a £40million move in January.

He scored five goals in just 11 starts this past Premier League campaign, and has added two goals and two assists this season, with Newcastle unbeaten in the 10 games he has started.

The Brazil international with eight senior caps to his name is a key part of why Newcastle currently occupy fourth place in the Premier League table, but they will now reportedly have to fend off interest from Barca.

 

TOP STORY – BARCELONA INVESTIGATE A MOVE FOR GUIMARAES

According to The Sun, Barcelona have officially moved on from their chase of Manchester City's Bernardo Silva and are instead focusing their attention on Newcastle's Guimaraes.

The report claims Barcelona were "priced out" of a move for Silva after City slapped a price tag of £80m on him and Guimaraes would certainly not come cheap.

With his contract tying him to Newcastle until 2026, it would need a huge offer to land the 24-year-old. 

While their spending spree will eventually need to be balanced out with some sales, the Magpies are said to be offering Guimaraes a new contract that will pay him £200,000 per week to put any questions about his future to bed.

 

ROUND-UP

– Calciomercato is reporting both Roma and Juventus are expected to pursue 23-year-old Sassuolo midfielder Davide Frattesi, who is valued in the region of €30m.

– According to The Mirror, Sporting will attempt to bring in Cristiano Ronaldo in January, and are preparing a second contract offer despite previously stating they can not afford the Portugal legend.

– Relevo claims N'Golo Kante is seen by Barcelona as a potential successor to Sergio Busquets, with the Chelsea midfielder's contract set to expire at the end of the season.

– It could be a busy January for Barcelona as Sport are reporting they hope to sell Memphis Depay, while Fichajes believe Franck Kessie will push for a move back to the Serie A.

– According to IG Esporte, Brighton and Everton are interested in 25-year-old Monaco left-back Caio Henrique.

Stefano Pioli insisted Milan were not distracted by Wednesday's decisive Champions League meeting with Salzburg during their demoralising Serie A loss to Torino.

Koffi Djidji and Aleksey Miranchuk scored in quick succession in the first half as Milan collapsed to a 2-1 defeat in Turin on Sunday.

Junior Messias got the Rossoneri back in the contest following a defensive mix-up after the break, but the Serie A champions never looked likely to complete a comeback on a chastening outing.

Milan will approach the European clash with Salzburg requiring just a point to join Chelsea in qualifying from Group E, but head coach Pioli is certain that was not on their minds.

"We could have done better in the flow of the ball, in defence and in attack. It was not the best evening," he said at his post-match press conference.

"To prepare well for the Champions League we had to do well tonight, we didn't think about it at all.

"We could have done better. It was a difficult and physical game, but we had to move better without the ball. You have to go looking for the chances, and you have to exploit them. They succeeded, with two goals in a few minutes.

"In the second half, we had a different attitude, but we didn't score immediately. The match went on the tracks preferred by Torino."

Djidji's opener halted a 499-minute streak in which Torino had not scored in their Serie A meetings with Milan, while the Rossoneri saw a 17-game unbeaten run on the road in Serie A come to an end.

Milan's frustrations were summed up by the efforts of Rafael Leao, who approached the trip to Turin in excellent form but was hauled off at the break after a poor opening period.

The Portugal forward failed to hit the target with four shots amounting to 0.51 expected goals (xG) during his 45-minute outing, leading Pioli to confirm he was substituted due to his poor display.

"It was not his best evening, this is evident," Pioli told DAZN after the defeat. "I tried to change the attack, but we needed to take a chance a little earlier, to play a little earlier, and we did not manage to get it back."

Milan failed to move back within three points of Serie A leaders Napoli as goals from Koffi Djidji and Aleksey Miranchuk condemned the Rossoneri to a surprise 2-1 loss to Torino.

Miranchuk followed up Djidji's glancing header with a cultured left-footed finish as Torino scored twice in two frantic first-half minutes to stun Milan at the Stadio Olimpico Grande Torino.

Stefano Pioli's men travelled to Turin looking to stay within touching distance of the Serie A summit, but were uncharacteristically lethargic for long periods on Sunday.

Junior Messias was gifted a goal following a bizarre mix-up at the back, but Milan failed to build on that strike late on as Torino clung on for a huge win.

Rafael Leao missed two golden chances in the first six minutes, sending a wild volley over after breaking in behind before mishitting his shot after being teed up by Brahim Diaz.

Torino punished Milan for their wastefulness 10 minutes before the break, as Djidji nodded Valentino Lazaro's deep free-kick in off the right-hand post.

Things quickly went from bad to worse for the champions as Miranchuk latched onto Nikola Vlasic's knock-down before shifting the ball onto his left foot and finishing coolly across Tatarusanu. 

Sergino Dest fired over from range as Milan attempted to lift the tempo after the break, before Messias ensured a tense finish when he curled home following a clash between Vanja Milinkovic-Savic and Perr Schuurs.

Torino boss Ivan Juric was dismissed for berating referee Rosario Abisso following that goal, but his team showed greater composure to see out the closing stages in relative comfort.

What does it mean? Rossoneri fall short

Although the likes of Napoli and Atalanta have made headlines in Serie A by emerging as surprise pacesetters, Milan had begun their title defence in solid fashion, stretching their unbeaten away run to 17 league games ahead of Sunday's contest (W12 D5).

Milan had also kept five consecutive clean sheets in league meetings with Torino prior to this game, but they saw both of those records fall by the wayside after a quickfire double from their hosts, who richly deserved the win following a disciplined performance.

Djidji ends barren run

To say Torino have struggled against Milan in recent meetings would be an understatement: Djidji's opener ended a 499-minute run in which Torino had failed to find the net against Milan in Serie A meetings.

Their previous goal against the Rossoneri in the competition was scored by Andrea Belotti in September 2019, and prior to Sunday's game, no player in Torino's current squad had scored a league goal against Milan.

Leao kept quiet

Leao has emerged as the most obvious goal threat in an exciting Milan team, having recorded nine league goal contributions (five goals, four assists) ahead of the trip to Turin.

However, the Portugal attacker was hauled off at the break after a disappointing first half in which he squandered chances amounting to 0.51 expected goals (xG) and failed to hit the target with any of his four attempts.

What's next?

Milan host Salzburg in the Champions League on Wednesday, needing to avoid defeat to reach the last 16. Torino, meanwhile, go to Bologna in Serie A next Sunday.

Monza and Bologna will observe a minute's silence before Monday's Serie A game to remember the man killed in a stabbing attack that left Pablo Mari injured.

Home side Monza will also wear special shirts bearing the message 'Come back soon, Pablo', ahead of their clash with the Rossoblu.

Mari, on loan to Monza from Arsenal, was one of five people injured in the incident near Milan on Thursday, in which a suspect was disarmed by onlookers and subsequently arrested.

A shop cashier named Luis Fernando Ruggieri died in the attack, and Monza have since sent condolences to his family.

Mari was visited in hospital by Monza chief executive Adriano Galliani and head coach Raffaele Palladino before undergoing back surgery on Friday.

The centre-back, who said he felt "lucky" to be alive after the attack in Assago, was discharged from hospital on Sunday and will reportedly be out of action for around three months.

Palladino revealed Monza originally considered requesting a postponement of Monday's match following the news, but then said the side were motivated to play, declaring: "Our duty is to play and go on the pitch and give everything for our team-mate."

Monza said in a statement on Sunday: "Before the kick-off of Monza-Bologna, a minute of silence will be observed at the U-Power Stadium to remember Luis Fernando Ruggieri, victim of Assago's insane attack.

"Furthermore, in the pre-match warm-up, the red and white players will wear a special T-shirt dedicated to Pablo Mari."

Pablo Mari has been discharged from hospital three days after the on-loan Monza defender was stabbed in a supermarket.

The Spanish centre-back, who joined Monza from Arsenal on a season-long loan deal in August, underwent back surgery after he was attacked near Milan on Thursday.

One person died and Mari was among five who were injured in a terrifying incident, with a suspect arrested after being disarmed.

Mari said he felt lucky to be alive, and the 29-year-old was on Sunday allowed to continue his recovery at home as he faces being out for at least two months.

A statement from Serie A club Monza said: "Pablo Mari was discharged from the hospital this morning, returned home and now begins a period of absolute rest.

"AC Monza sincerely thanks Professor Osvaldo Chiara and all the professionals of the Trauma Center of the Niguarda Hospital in Milan.

"Pablo, we are waiting for you!"

Monza head coach Raffaele Palladino has said Mari's team-mates will be playing for him when they face Bologna on Monday.

"It's not that we didn't want to play. The first news shook the whole group, and it's normal that we were shocked," head coach Palladino said when asked about not postponing the game.

"Initially we thought about a postponement, but the team reacted well, especially when they learned that Pablo was out of danger.

"A bad week, but at the same time beautiful. Pablo Mari is a miracle worker. Our duty is to play and go on the pitch and give everything also for our team-mate. We have no regrets over not postponing."

Raffaele Palladino says Monza will play for Pablo Mari when they face Bologna after the defender was injured in a multiple stabbings incident at a supermarket near Milan.

One person died and Monza's on-loan Arsenal centre-back Mari was among five who were injured during a terrifying incident, with a suspect arrested after being disarmed on Thursday.

The Spanish defender is expected to be out of action for at least two months after successful back surgery.

"It's not that we didn't want to play. The first news shook the whole group and it's normal that we were shocked," head coach Palladino said when asked about not postponing the upcoming game.

"Initially we thought about a postponement, but the team reacted well especially when they learned that Pablo was out of danger.

"A bad week, but at the same time beautiful. Pablo Mari is a miracle worker. Our duty is to play and go on the pitch and give everything also for our team-mate. We have no regrets over not postponing."

Former Juventus winger Filippo Ranocchia echoed Palladino's sentiment as he assured Monza will have Mari on their minds in their next Serie A clash.

"We couldn't believe it, it seemed absurd that one of our team-mates had been stabbed while shopping with his family. It was shocking news for everyone," Ranocchia told La Gazzetta dello Sport.

"When we heard that his life was not in danger it was a huge relief, we wanted to go and see him right away, but the team told us it was better to wait.

"After the operation. We knew he had to sleep, but we sent him messages in the team chat. When he woke up and wrote to us that the worst was over and that he couldn't wait to come back, it was beautiful.

"We will play for Pablo but also for Luis Fernando Ruggieri who lost his life in this crazy attack. Our thoughts go out to him, to his loved ones and to all the people involved in that night of terror."

Barcelona president Joan Laporta is known to be desperate for Lionel Messi to finish his career at his long-time club.

The 35-year-old Argentine forward departed Camp Nou hastily in August last year due to Barcelona's financial issues.

Messi joined the Blaugrana in 2000 and had an association with the club for more than two decades, scoring 672 goals across 778 first-team appearances.


TOP STORY – LAPORTA PLOTTING JANUARY MOVE FOR MESSI

Laporta is planning a move for Barcelona club legend Lionel Messi in the January transfer window, according to Sport.

The report states that Barcelona want to take advantage of the Fair Play situation in January, rather than wait for the off-season where the 1/4 rule will make any move more difficult.

However, Laporta's plan is full of obstacles for the Blaugrana to overcome, not least LaLiga's financial restraints, along with convincing Messi and his current club Paris Saint-Germain to part midway through the season.

Messi has publicly said he has deferred any decisions on his club or international future until after the World Cup.


ROUND-UP

– Sporting CP head coach Ruben Amorim may have distanced the club from links with Manchester United's Cristiano Ronaldo in midweek but The Mirror reports that the Portuguese club will make a bid for him in January.

– Brighton and Hove Albion are open to selling Moises Caicedo amid interest from Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester United and Newcastle United but have slapped a £85m price tag on the 20-year-old Ecuadorian midfielder, reports the Sunday Mirror.

– The Express claims that Arsenal are leading the race ahead of Manchester United to sign Leicester City midfielder Youri Tielemans. The Belgian could move to the Gunners for free, as he is out of contract at the end of the season and unlikely to pen a new deal.

– Chelsea midfielder N'Golo Kante - whose contract is also up at the end of June 2023 - is a major target for Barcelona who are looking at replacements for veteran Sergio Busquets, reports Relevo.

– Sport claims Barcelona are looking to offload Memphis Depay in January, with Juventus interested in signing the Dutch attacker.

Wolves are set to approach ex-Sevilla boss Julen Lopetegui again, having failed to convince him previously to become their new manager, claims The Sun.

Simone Inzaghi labelled Inter's October "almost perfect" after they cruised to a 3-0 Serie A win over Sampdoria.

Inter made it seven games without defeat in all competitions, of which they have won six, with a routine victory at San Siro.

Stefan de Vrij, Nicolo Barella and Joaquin Correa found the net to seal the points for Inter, whose next domestic assignment is a Derby d'Italia visit to Juventus.

And Inzaghi is delighted with the form in which they will approach that crucial fixture.

"The team is in good shape, feels confident, is putting together convincing victories, but we must continue," Inzaghi told Sky Sport Italia.

"We saw nobody is slowing down in Serie A, but our October was almost perfect.

"I really enjoy watching this team play. We have the right shape, we know what we want to do, I’m bringing back players who had been injured, we’re still missing [Marcelo] Brozovic.

"When a coach has options to choose from, that is always good.”

Inter are fifth, eight points adrift of leaders Napoli, and Inzaghi suggested it is too early in the season to know whether they can bridge that gap and challenge to regain the Scudetto.

"We need to check the fixture list from here to the break for the World Cup, there are some tough games, but having said that it's early days in the season," added Inzaghi.

"We made mistakes, the others are all going at a great pace, we've also got Bayern Munich coming up on Tuesday [in the Champions League] and need to put in a strong performance."

Nicolo Barella maintained his impressive goalscoring form as Inter eased to a 3-0 victory over Sampdoria on Saturday to make it four Serie A wins in a row.

Simone Inzaghi's side have put their early-season struggles behind them with this their seventh match without defeat in all competitions, six of those ending in victory.

Midfielder Barella rounded off a route-one move to double Inter's advantage at San Siro before half-time after Stefan de Vrij had opened the scoring with a header.

Inter, who brought on Romelu Lukaku for his first league appearance since August, added another goal through a superb Joaquin Correa solo effort to seal an emphatic victory.

De Vrij sent a bullet header past Emil Audero with 22 minutes played for his first goal of the season after being picked out by Hakan Calhanoglu from a corner.

Inter continued to dominate and had a second goal just before the interval when Barella controlled a long pass from Alessandro Bastoni and powered a shot past Audero.

Inzaghi introduced the returning Lukaku and Correa in the second half and it took the latter just five minutes to add his name to the scoresheet against his former side.

Argentina international Correa carried the ball from one penalty area to the other and curled in a third goal for the hosts to round off the scoring.

Massimiliano Allegri hailed Nicolo Fagioli's "great quality" after the young Juventus midfielder hit a stunning goal to earn a 1-0 victory at Lecce.

If head coach Allegri was feeling mounting pressure during a tense, largely drab game at the Stadio Via del Mare, that was lifted at least briefly when substitute Fagioli whipped a brilliant strike past Wladimiro Falcone.

The 73rd-minute winner means Juventus have strung together three consecutive victories and clean sheets in Serie A for the first time since February 2021. 

Those wins have come against Torino, Empoli and Lecce, rather than the elite, but with Juventus mired in injury trouble any win is welcome just now as they cling to top-four aspirations.

They are heading out of the Champions League and may even fall short of parachuting into the Europa League, with Allegri's second season of his second spell in charge not going to plan.

Yet amid the gloom, a new hero emerged. Fagioli became the first player born in 2001 onwards to score for Juventus in Serie A, with the 21-year-old settling a game that would otherwise not have lived long in the memory.

Indeed, the total expected goals (xG) tally for Saturday's game was just 0.81, taking both teams into account.

The xG metric considers the quality of a team's chances and their likelihood of scoring, and this combined tally was the lowest of all matches so far in Serie A this season.

For the winner, Samuel Iling had been on the field for just 41 seconds when he fed a short pass to the roving Fagioli, who turned sharply and fired from the left of goal into the top far corner.

"Nicolo has great quality," Allegri told DAZN. "His path was particular. He was a bit bastardised in the role, and he still has to learn to play in front of the defence because he never did it, but Iling was also very good in assisting. All the guys were good."

Juventus are missing a string of stars due to injury, including Dusan Vlahovic, Paul Pogba and Federico Chiesa, and it was a much-weakened side that faced Lecce, Allegri deploying more youngsters than is ideal.

Fagioli came on for the start of the second half in place of Weston McKennie, who had been poor before the break.

"The idea was to send Fagioli to the pitch during the game when their intensity dropped," Allegri said. "In football and in life you get up. Everything can not always go wrong, nor always is everything well.

"And just when things go wrong you have to be mentally strong and be good at weathering the storm. Healthy madness must always be maintained, only rationality does not make its way."

Home captain Morten Hjulmand hit the foot of the left post in the closing moments with a skidding shot from 20 yards, Lecce's best effort of the game in which they failed to put a shot on target.

The result will come as a relief to all involved at Juventus, including vice-president Pavel Nedved, who said ahead of the game that Allegri continues to have the club's full support.

Italian media have speculated Juventus could look to bring Antonio Conte back to the club at the end of the season, when his Tottenham contract expires.

However, Nedved offered some reassurance regarding the board's backing, telling DAZN before kick-off: "Our position does not change: Allegri has the full confidence of the club and of the players themselves.

"I think it is normal that when the results do not arrive many names come up and many others will come out, but I repeat our position does not change."

Nicolo Fagioli lit up a drab game with a classy winner for Juventus as Massimiliano Allegri's team scrambled a 1-0 victory at Lecce on Saturday.

The substitute made the breakthrough in the 73rd minute, turning in the penalty area after a short pass from the left flank by Samuel Iling before curling an exquisite shot in off the far post.

Juventus had all the pressure leading up to that, but they rarely threatened a breakthrough, with an injury-hit team playing with little confidence.

Amid their Champions League group-stage failure, this result, however scrappily it was obtained, gives Juventus a third successive win and clean sheet in Serie A.

The quality was poor in the opening half hour, but the tackles were thunderous at times, with four early bookings for the Juventus quartet of Juan Cuadrado, Federico Gatti, Arkadiusz Milik and Fabio Miretti.

Cuadrado, captaining the injury-weakened visitors, slashed a cross-shot well wide, before Adrien Rabiot's ambitious 30-yard attempt in the 32nd minute fizzed along the turf into the grateful arms of Wladimiro Falcone.

Rabiot had the best chance of the half in the 43rd minute, with his powerful header from Filip Kostic's left-wing corner pushed aside by Falcone, whose goal was coming under a growing threat.

Lecce, having won just four of their previous 32 Serie A matches against Juventus, carried next to no threat before the interval and last season's Serie B champions were almost behind early in the second half when Gatti's header from a free-kick nearly gave Milik a tap-in.

It was a game that was almost interesting, nearly distracting. A flick from Milik was gathered by Falcone as Cuadrado closed in, then Milik had a low shot from 20 yards that the goalkeeper had to dive to palm away.

Juventus substitute Moise Kean headed meekly wide when he should probably have scored, and Gatti nodded over, before Fagioli, on since the start of the second half, made his decisive contribution.

Lecce captain Morten Hjulmand hit the post with a skidding shot in the 89th minute as the visitors clung on.

Stefano Pioli believes Milan are capable of going beyond the 85-point mark in Serie A and insists that is the target as a title battle with Napoli looms.

There are other teams who could also be a factor, but Napoli are the side who have made a flying start, and defending champions Milan were their closest challengers heading into this weekend.

The Rossoneri head coach says it is not essential that his team head the table when the World Cup break comes around next month, but he is wary of letting Napoli build any sort of substantial lead.

Luciano Spalletti's team have already beaten Milan this season, which remains the only league defeat suffered by Pioli's men through 11 rounds of games.

On Sunday, Milan head to Torino, and they only managed a goalless draw in the corresponding game last season.

With only three more Serie A matchdays remaining after this weekend before the World Cup leads to a seven-week pause, Pioli wants Milan to go into the interval on a high.

"We started at the beginning of the season with two objectives: to be as advanced as possible in the league on November 13 and to overcome the group in the Champions League," Pioli said.

Milan will have achieved the second of those aims if they avoid defeat to Salzburg at San Siro on Wednesday, as the games come thick and fast.

"We have many important games in a few days, but the team are doing well," Pioli said. "I have players who are available and strong.

"I will field those who I consider appropriate to win these challenges. Tomorrow is the most important, we are prepared to face it in the best possible way.

"We need to score as many points as possible. It will not be decisive to be first on November 13, but you have to get above 85 points. The more games you win now, the better."

It is not always the case, but passing 85 points is usually enough to land a Scudetto. The last team to top that mark but miss out on the title were Napoli in the 2017-18 season, when they posted 91 but finished four points behind Juventus.

Milan accumulated 86 points last term to pip Inter by two points.

Torino sit 10th in the table, and Pioli said Milan would need to show "quality and personality" on Sunday, predicting heavy pressure from the hosts.

"We want to give continuity by looking for a streak of results as long as possible. Napoli are doing very well and winning on Sunday would be important," Pioli said.

Brahim Diaz, who scored twice in the 4-1 win over Monza last weekend before being substituted with a muscle injury, has been passed fit for the game in Turin.

© 2022 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.