News ID: 263900
Published: 0319 GMT January 04, 2020

Ibra vows to kick-start Milan season as Conte's Inter seeks rare win at Napoli

Ibra vows to kick-start Milan season as Conte's Inter seeks rare win at Napoli
MARCO BERTORELLO/AFP

Zlatan Ibrahimovic has vowed to kick-start struggling AC Milan's Serie A season as its local rival Inter Milan recommences a title battle with Juventus this weekend after the end of the winter break.

Milan plays host to Sampdoria on Monday, its first game since the humiliating 5-0 goal defeat to Atalanta last month which sparked Ibrahimovic's return, AFP reported.

"I'm ready and I really hope I can play," said the 38-year-old Ibrahimovic as he returned to Milan nine years after his departure for Paris Saint-Germain.

"Things need to be improved on the pitch and that's why I'm here. I know what I have to do, Zlatan is still here."

Seven-time European champion Milan is 11th in the table, 14 points off the Champions League places and just seven points clear of the relegation zone.

By contrast Inter is challenging champion Juventus' hegemony at the top of Serie A, with both sides level on 42 points after 17 games.

Antonio Conte's Inter travels to Napoli, while Juve is at home against sixth-placed Cagliari, this season's surprise package which is well in the hunt for Champions League football.

Inter Milan has not won at Napoli's Stadio San Paolo since October 1997 but last season's runner-up is eighth this term, with Gennaro Gattuso replacing Carlo Ancelotti last month.

"Inter has been strong in previous years but it has improved even more under Conte," said Napoli defender Mario Rui.

"They will make us suffer, but we are ready."

Juventus returns to action after its Italian Super Cup defeat to Lazio against a Cagliari side that had been in impressive form before back-to-back losses.

Meanwhile red-hot Lazio, six points behind in third with a game in hand, is looking increasingly dangerous.

Simone Inzaghi's side, which has not lost since its 1-0 defeat to Inter in late September, can push its league winning streak to nine games against relegation-threatened Brescia.

The Roman side has scored two goals or more in each of its last 11 league games since that Inter defeat, the first team to achieve that feat since the legendary 'Grande Torino' side back in 1948.

One point behind Lazio in fourth is capital city rival Roma, which hosts Torino amid takeover talks with US billionaire Dan Friedkin.

 

 

 

 

   
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