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Gasperini wary of struggling Milan

Gian Piero Gasperini insists Milan deserve respect as "a tough opponent" as he prepares his Palermo side to face the faltering Rossoneri on Tuesday evening.

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Speaking at his pre-match press conference the 54-year-old former Internazionale coach told reporters he understood the challenges facing the San Siro outfit but that his own side must try take all three points.

"Milan have not been getting the results we've all been accustomed to," he said. "It is a difficult period for them at the moment but they will certainly still be a tough opponent. They are at a different level to the likes of Siena and Torino, but we are at home, so we have to go for a win."

Opposing coach Massimiliano Allegri was similarly full of praise for the Rosanero and reminded his players that beating Genoa on Saturday was only the first step of their recovery. Milan are currently 11th in the Serie A table, just three points above the relegation zone going into Tuesday night's match at the Stadio Renzo Barbera.

He told his own pre-match press conference: "Palermo are doing well, Gasperini's teams traditionally play good football, and they always perform well at home. It will be a difficult game for us, and we will have to defend well against a top quality player like Fabrizio Miccoli.

"We won on Saturday, but we must not forget what has happened lately, because we have very few points. We need to move up the table as quickly as possible, but we can only go forward thinking game-by-game."

He also took time to praise 20-year-old striker Stephan El Shaarawy – who has netted six goals in the opening nine games of the season – and had a word for the returning Alexandre Pato.

"Stephan has played with great quality this season and has moved into the team really well," Allegri added. "Pato played well at the weekend having been out for so long."


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