Stefano Pioli urges AC Milan to play with passion as Italian football returns


Milan will take on Juventus in Turin in the second leg of the Coppa Italia semi-finals.

AC Milan head coach Stefano Pioli has urged his players to display their passion and enthusiasm for their absent supporters when Italian football returns on Friday.

Milan will take on Juventus in Turin in the second leg of the Coppa Italia semi-finals, almost four months after a 1-1 first-leg draw.

Milan has been one of the hardest-hit cities in the world during the coronavirus pandemic and Pioli believes his players have a responsibility to lift spirits during the closed-door contest.

In a video on the club’s official website, Pioli said: “Those of us who love this sport have really missed the pitch and the smell of the grass.

“Now that we are fortunate enough to restart, we’ll need to do it with all our passion and enthusiasm, above all so we can entertain and please our fans, and all the football fans who will be following from home in this particularly delicate moment of our lives. We need to give our all.”

The Turkish Super Lig will resume with Fenerbahce hosting Kayserispor and Trabzonspor visiting Goztepe.

A limited number of fans will return to grounds in Denmark when Esbjerg host Randers in the Superliga with about 400 supporters set to attend.

Home manager Troels Bech told his club’s website: “Fans in the stands are a very important part of a football match, so we are happy that there must be some present on Friday night, although we would like so many more.”

The second night of La Liga’s resumption will see Granada host Getafe and Valencia play Levante in a derby match.

RB Leipzig continue their push for a Champions League place when they travel to Hoffenheim in the Bundesliga while Sporting host Pacos de Ferreira in the pick of the Portuguese Primeira Liga matches.