Enrique dismisses talk of Milan-Barca distraction

23 March 2012 03:46

Luis Enrique says he doesn't expect AC Milan to be distracted when he takes his Roma side to the San Siro on Saturday.

Milan host Barcelona in the Champions League on Wednesday with some suggesting coach Massimiliano Allegri may be tempted to rest a couple of key players ahead of the Catalans' visit.

But Enrique believes Milan's title battle with Juventus will ensure they are fully focussed on their league commitments.

"I don't think Milan will be distracted by their next Champions League commitment," said the Spaniard, who used to be a youth team coach at Barca.

"It's a key moment in the league, Milan know that every match from now on is fundamental.

"And beating Barcelona, who are the best team in the world, is difficult for everyone."

Roma have been creeping up on the Champions League places recently and now trail city rivals Lazio by just four points in the race for third place.

But Enrique expects Saturday's challenge to be as tough as their previous match with Milan earlier in the season at Rome's Stadio Olimpico.

"Milan won here 3-2, there was a big difference between the two teams and the result was fair.

"There's a big difference between Milan and us in terms of consistency."

Enrique says the key to the match will be controlling the ball and he also says it's unlikely to be as open as their previous meeting.

"Possession of the ball will be very important tomorrow. It's a game between two teams that want to build their game and want to win.

"We hope it will be an entertaining game for the players and fans but I doubt there will be five goals like last time.

"If we don't play at 100 percent it will be difficult to beat Milan whereas they can win even when they're not at their best."

But Enrique was keen to play down the importance of the game for his side's Champions League qualification chances.

"Tomorrow's match won't change our season, we could beat Milan and lose the next nine, or vice-versa," he said.

"We can beat Milan but we need to be at 100 percent, we need to play the perfect match and we can do that."

Source: AFP