Inzaghi wary of Sassuolo test

The recently-retired Rossoneri striker might have been the visiting manager for Tuesday afternoon’s meeting had he accepted Sassuolo’s offer to become their head coach last spring, but instead he finds himself entrusted with restoring Milan to their former glories.

That mission is progressing at a satisfactory pace, with a goalless draw at ambitious Roma leaving Milan just two points outside the top three heading into the new year.

A home tie against relative minnows Sassuolo might represent an excellent opportunity to kick off 2015 with another victory, but Inzaghi insists it will not be that simple.

“Sassuolo’s interest in me was very satisfying to me, and their president (Giorgio) Squinzi wanted me as coach,” he told a pre-match press conference. “Since then I’ve become their fan as they made me feel very important.

“I must congratulate Squinzi because Sassuolo are a good club. They are well organised and well coached.

“We know the hidden dangers of this fixture and we will need to play like we have done in the past three matches to collect all three points.

“They have some talented players, so we’ve prepared the match in the best possible manner.”

Milan have already made moves in the January transfer market by exchanging misfiring striker Fernando Torres for Italy winger Alessio Cerci, who arrives at San Siro following a disappointing half-season with Atletico Madrid.

Inzaghi added: “My priority was signing Alessio Cerci and now he’s arrived.

“Cerci has unique characteristics, he has a great desire to show what he can do and he’s an international player.

“It’s now down to me to understand the best way in which to play him. Everyone knows what Cerci’s qualities are and I hope to get the best out of him.”

Pablo Armero, Nigel de John and Philippe Mexes are all suspended while Keisuke Honda, Daniele Bonera, Marco van Ginkel and Michaelangelo Albertazzi miss out through injury.

Goalkeeper Gianluca Pegolo remains sidelined for Sassuolo, who are also without Thomas Manfredini and Saphir Taider. The latter is with Algeria at the African Cup of Nations.

Neroverde striker Nicola Sansone has pointed to Milan’s friendly victory over European champions Real Madrid when warning his team-mates about their next opponents.

“We need to be worried about Milan because they are a great team who beat Real Madrid, and not through any accident,” he told La Gazzetta dello Sport.

“We must be very careful because they are very strong, with some great players, and they have great will to win, just like we do.”

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