Pioli explains Okafor as Milan centre-forward | OneFootball

Pioli explains Okafor as Milan centre-forward | OneFootball

Icon: Football Italia

Football Italia

·17 March 2024

Pioli explains Okafor as Milan centre-forward

Article image:Pioli explains Okafor as Milan centre-forward

Stefano Pioli explains why he is using Noah Okafor as a centre-forward for Milan against Verona. ‘He has the right characteristics.’

It kicked off at the Stadio Bentegodi at 14.00 GMT.

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The Rossoneri were in action on Thursday for the Europa League with a 3-1 win away to 10-man Slavia Praha, setting up a quarter-final derby with Roma.

“We feel good and fortunately everyone is in good shape. It is going to be a tough match, but we have the quality to do well,” Pioli told DAZN.

There are a few surprises in the line-up today, as Okafor is used as a centre-forward and Pierre Kalulu gets his first start in defence since the serious thigh injury on October 29.

Does this represent a message to strikers Olivier Giroud and Luka Jovic?

“Oli played all of Thursday’s match, so considering we can find space to run into and Okafor is good at these situations, I felt like he has the right characteristics for the approach we want to take.

“It is certainly not a message to anyone, we make our choices to put out the best team for the match and also have options off the bench. I chose different characteristics, it was not to penalise anyone.”

Ruben Loftus-Cheek seems to start almost every game, despite the fact injuries have always been the downfall of his career even at Chelsea.

“He overcame the problems he had at the start, coming off a very difficult season, and we managed to slowly build him up to give him greater consistency of performance.

“Every now and then, I give him fewer minutes to make sure he can play the next match.”

JuventusGenoa in Turin, so this is an opportunity for Milan to break away in second place.

However, Verona have plenty of motivation too, with the chance to go clear of the danger zone.

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