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AC Milan must win at all costs as title race heats up says Stefano Pioli

AC Milan must find ways to win even when their performances do not merit three points, manager Stefano Pioli said on Friday as they look to retain top spot in Serie A amid a tight title race.

Milan, which host mid-table Empoli on Saturday, is two points ahead of defending champion Inter Milan, which has one game in hand, and three in front of Napoli.

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Pioli said it was important to get victories no matter how but “playing well helps win games”.

“All championships are won with sub-par games. We need to be very humble, sacrifice ourselves a lot, and believe a lot in our talents,” he told reporters on Thursday.

Pioli said the race with the other top five teams – Inter, Napoli, Juventus and Atalanta – would be tight but he did not want to underestimate other teams such as Empoli, which is 13th in the table after returning to the top flight this season.

“They (title contenders) are strong teams and could win several games, but then there are competitive rivals and we need to stay focused. Scared of Juve? I am scared of Empoli tomorrow.

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“I’ve seen a focused team, we have prepared with attention to detail and concentration. Every single match is different from the others, we need to play with consistency and, as we know, with rhythm to show our qualities.”

Milan beat Empoli 4-2 in the reverse fixture but Pioli will not take anything for granted against unpredictable opponnents.

“Empoli are a very dynamic team and also very technical. We will need to face them with clear heads,” he said.

Pioli said centre back Alessio Romagnoli has recovered from a muscle problem and is available but Pierre Kalulu is also in contention to start alongside Fikayo Tomori in defence.

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