Moratti hopes Milan crumble under pressure

The Nerazzurri supremo has warned that victory over Barcelona does not make Massimiliano Allegri’s men certain to beat Inter on Sunday, and revealed his feelings on Mario Balotelli

Inter president Massimo Moratti is hoping that AC Milan crumble under the pressure of being favourites to win the derby this weekend.

A resurgence in their domestic form – coupled with a stunning 2-0 victory over Barcelona in the Champions League – has transformed Massimiliano Allegri’s men from outsiders for European qualification to the most likely side to secure a top-three finish behind Napoli and Juventus.

Moratti has conceded that Milan are the favourites to triumph at the Giuseppe Meazza on Sunday, but has warned that such a billing could ultimately work against them.

When asked who he feels are expected to win the clash, he told reporters: “AC Milan, without a doubt. They’re the big favourites. They’ve just beaten Barcelona.

“I don’t think I’m saying anything sarcastically, but just because a team are favourites, it doesn’t mean they’ll necessarily win.

“We just hope the pressure will get to them. It’s crucial the players show physical strength and the right spirit to realise it’s a very important match for football, for the two clubs’ traditions and for the fans.

“We went through in the Europa League but now we have barely any time to prepare for the derby. We all have this weight on our minds.

“It’s a great occasion for everyone in football, however, and so we’re looking forward to it, and I think it could be a hard-fought match both for the supporters – who I believe want to watch it in a sporting manner – and the two clubs.”

Sunday’s clash will see Mario Balotelli line up against Inter for the first time since leaving the club for Manchester City back in 2010, but Moratti has revealed he is unconcerned by the prospect of his former charge taking to the field in a Milan shirt.

“If I’m honest, it doesn’t affect me much,” he said. “I love him and I’m happy he’s been able to move to big clubs, first Manchester City and now AC Milan.

It’s one thing loving him because I watched him come through at Inter, it’s another when he’s an opponent, but there’ll be no anger there. I saw him wear Manchester City’s colours. He’s a player who will do well wherever he goes, including AC Milan.

“The reactions of both sets of supporters – not just towards Balotelli, but also towards Milito – could be a concern, but I don’t think so. What’s more, Inter and AC Milan fans have never hated each other, and there’s respect towards the players.”

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