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Saturday's Milan derby is being billed as the decisive game in Serie A this season, with AC Milan going into the fixture just two points clear of defending champions FC Internazionale Milano, who have been on the rise since the appointment of coach Leonardo.
Milan, with only one point from their last two league matches, may look in danger of blowing a good chance to claim their first Scudetto since 2004, yet midfielder Andrea Pirlo says panic is not setting in. "We feel very good," he told UEFA.com. "We're top of the table, a few points ahead, though we know we still have plenty of difficult matches ahead. We are taking it game by game without paying too much attention to the objective we have, which is still a long way away."
A knee ligament injury sustained the day before his scheduled return from a thigh problem means Pirlo has not appeared for the Rossoneri since January, but the 31-year-old is desperate to get back on the pitch – maybe in time for the Derby della Madonnina. "I hope I can come back and feel better, because this season I've had lots of problems," explained the former Brescia Calcio and Inter man. "The most important thing is to make it back and to stay healthy. I just want to come back and play, and then we will see."
If Saturday's match has captured the imagination of fans across Europe, Pirlo insists it is not the defining moment of either side's season, not least since Inter take on FC Schalke 04 in the first leg of their UEFA Champions League quarter-final on Tuesday. "
The derby is always a special match and this season it could also be decisive for the title, so there is even more excitement around it," he said. "But we also know it's not that decisive for the title as there are still many games left."
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