AC Milan manager Stefano Pioli says he is excited about experiencing a European game at Anfield when the Rossoneri face Liverpool on Wednesday evening.
Despite both teams having fantastic records in European competitions, they have only faced each other in two finals at neutral venues, and Pioli wants to see how his team copes with the famous Anfield crowd:
“The emotion will be strong, we enter a stadium that has always been famous for passion and the warmth of the fans. But later when you get there what matters is the pitch. Last year we played in Manchester in a fantastic stadium that made an impression on us without fans, so I imagine what it could be in Liverpool. I think it will be a very stimulating and beautiful challenge to face. Milan reappears in the Champions League with enthusiasm, we must think of difficult matches as great opportunities because if we are convinced even the biggest obstacle can be overcome.”
The Reds have been given a tough group in the Champions League this time around. Milan are, however, not the team they once were. They have recovered their reputation under the guidance of Pioli over the last two seasons but this will be the first time they have been in Europe’s top competition for eight years.
Porto did not win their domestic league last campaign, finishing five points off winners Sporting Lisbon, so they are also not quite as strong as they have been previously. Atletico Madrid will, though, be a tough opponent. The La Liga champions knocked Liverpool out of the knockout stages two years ago.