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Milan coach Pioli expects emotional evening against Fiorentina

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AC Milan face Fiorentina in Serie A this weekend and they are expecting a special evening in Florence as local fans pay tribute to their club’s recently deceased chief executive Joe Barone, the club said on Friday. coach Stefano Pioli.

Saturday’s match will be Fiorentina’s first match since Barone’s death on March 19. The Stadio Franchi is full, emotions will be high and it’s a situation that Pioli has already experienced.

Pioli was Fiorentina coach in 2018 when their captain Davide Astori died, and the Milan boss knows only too well what to expect in Florence.

“Unfortunately, this is not the first situation of this kind that has happened to Fiorentina,” Pioli told a press conference.

“Florence and Viola fans are fantastic when it comes to uniting and coming together to get through these times, when these losses come, they become one big family.

“A special environment awaits us at the start for Joe Barone who has done so much for Fiorentina, but then there will be a game to play.”

Barone’s death left Fiorentina players, staff and fans in shock, and their final match with Atalanta was postponed after Barone suffered a cardiac arrest shortly before the team left their hotel for the stadium.

Vincenzo Italiano has the task of preparing his team for this emotional outing, and Fiorentina are still involved in the Coppa Italia and Conference League.

“We must start again immediately and honor the director in the best possible way, putting on the pitch his characteristics, his passion, his love, his attachment to this city, to these colors and to this club,” Italiano said.

“We know that we are playing in a setting where the whole stadium will give us all the strength to get the most out of it.

“I only ask that by the end we all start to unite to achieve something extraordinary. I expect great effort from the team, especially in difficult times.”

Milan are second in the table, 14 points behind leaders Inter Milan and three ahead of Juventus, while Fiorentina are in eighth place.

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