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Milan boss Pioli not looking beyond Liverpool test

San Siro

AC Milan coach Stefano Pioli is keen to restore the club's proud European pedigree but admits he is not looking beyond their Champions League encounter with Liverpool.

Victory over Jurgen Klopp's side – who have won all five group matches so far – and a draw between second-placed Porto and Atletico Madrid would see the seven-time European Cup winners progress to the knockout stage.

A win for Porto would put Pioli's team into the Europa League but the Rossoneri boss is not considering the permutations.

"We're only focusing on tomorrow's game. The club's objective is to become competitive again, both in Italy and Europe," he said.

"We want to progress to the round-of-16 in the Champions League; however, if we're transferred to the Europa League, we'll approach it in the best way possible.

"Nevertheless, only tomorrow matters, and we want to test ourselves."

Milan's test may be slightly lessened by Klopp's rotation of his side, having qualified for the last-16 as winners with two matches to spare.

It means the hosts are unlikely to face as strong a team as they did at Anfield in September where they were 2-1 up at half-time before losing 3-2.

"In the reverse fixture we were put under a lot of pressure by them, displaying a lack of movement without the ball," added Pioli.

"This is an aspect we need to improve on tomorrow. We have better knowledge of the spaces that are likely to arise on the pitch and should we overcome their initial press, spaces could open up, allowing us to be dangerous.

"AC Milan need to be strong because the level will be high. We'll be up against a team that have been among the best in the world for years now.

"The more unpredictable we are, and the more successful we are in attacking the spaces, the more we'll be able to create dangerous situations up front.

"We know what we need to do to hold our own against them. We'll also have the great support of our fans: all the prerequisites to be positive and believe we can produce a great performance are there."