Empoli will be a tougher match than Chelsea – AC Milan manager says

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After the international break, AC Milan will face Empoli in the Serie A, before visiting Chelsea in the Champions League fixture.

Milan boss Stefano Pioli has claimed that the Empoli match will be more difficult for his side than facing Chelsea at Stamford Bridge, which comes afterwards.

Stefano Pioli has revived AC Milan’s fortunes and led the Serie A side to win the Scudetto last season.

Speaking about the upcoming fixtures, Pioli said: “I don’t think there’s that much difference between playing well in Italy and in Europe. The Champions League does require a higher tempo, but nothing impossible.

“I understand there are expectations around the Chelsea games, but I maintain the most difficult match for us will certainly be against Empoli.

“When we go into that fixture, I’ll have welcomed the players back from international duty only two days earlier.

“I trust that if we play at our usual levels, then results against Chelsea are certainly within our reach.”

He added: “We are trying to improve our level even more after last season, but Serie A is a well-balanced league and everyone has levelled up with reinforcements, so we want to stay in the group fighting for the title to the end.

“Our performance against Napoli was of a high level, but the fact we didn’t pick up points means we can and must do better in some situations.

“I do feel at home at Milan, and when you feel at home, you don’t want to even consider other options. We have many things still to do, but I am absolutely not worried about my contract or my future.

“Milan’s objective is to be competitive and to win silverware. We want to continue improving, as we remain a young side, but have the confidence that can allow us to aim for the top.”