Pato ready for Milan derby

view gallery VIEW GALLERY

AC Milan striker Alexandre Pato believes victory in tomorrow's derby clash against Inter will dispel the notion Jose Mourinho's men are better equipped to win the Scudetto this season.

Click here or click the image to see our guide to the greatest rivalries in world football.

Brazil international Pato is confident Milan are every bit as good as the Nerazzurri and is hoping to show it at the San Siro to put down an early marker for the rest of the season.

He told Gazzetta dello Sport: "Against Inter it will be a special clash. Anything can happen.

"They are strong, they won the league title, but we're not inferior at Milan.

"Winning the derby can boost our confidence and increase our self-esteem."

Pato's team-mate Andrea Pirlo also talked up Milan's chances after questioning Inter's style of play and dismissing Mourinho's customary mind games.

"Our play is beautiful compared to Inter's. Mourinho's tricks don't work anymore," Pirlo said.

"Their long ball game is not enough nowadays."

Milan had a quiet summer in the transfer market, adding Holland striker Klaas Jan Huntelaar from Real Madrid with Kaka going the opposite way.

Huntelaar missed last weekend's 2-1 season-opening win at Siena through suspension but is expected to return for the derby.

Another Dutchman who could make his bow, this time in the blue and black of Inter, is Wesley Sneijder, who today completed a move to the Serie A champions from Real Madrid.

Sneijder has signed a four-year deal and may be thrust straight into a red-hot atmosphere.

Inter's title defence got off to a stuttering start last weekend with a home draw against a Bari side which is expected to struggle this term.

But goalkeeper Julio Cesar is adamant the team are progressing well after a strong pre-season.

He said: "Aside from the draw in the home match against Bari, I think the team is working well.

"We can play a good match, but the two matches we played against Milan in the summer (90 minutes in the USA and 45 in the Tim Trophy) are inconsequential.

"It will certainly be a completely different match on Saturday. It will be hard, but we want to get back to winning ways immediately in the league."

Inter were more active over the summer in recruiting new players, spending the money accrued from the sale of Zlatan Ibrahimovic to Barcelona.

Samuel Eto'o came as part of that deal alongside the likes of Diego Milito, Lucio, Thiago Motta and now Sneijder.

Milito, who moved from Genoa, is relishing the prospect of playing in a derby so early in his Inter career.

"We are excited about this start of the season, playing a derby is always nice," he said.

"Let's hope it's a good game not just for me, but for all of Inter.

"We've already faced the Rossoneri during the pre-season in America, but that was just for preparation. Now it will be important to win but it will especially be a chance to do well.

"Inter are a growing team. Are we the best? I don't know, we are only aware we have a great squad, then we'll have to see what the pitch says."

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

War with Isis: Iraq's government fights to win back Tikrit from militants - but then what?

Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable
Living with Alzheimer's: What is it really like to be diagnosed with early-onset dementia?

What is it like to live with Alzheimer's?

Depicting early-onset Alzheimer's, the film 'Still Alice' had a profound effect on Joy Watson, who lives with the illness. She tells Kate Hilpern how she's coped with the diagnosis
The Internet of Things: Meet the British salesman who gave real-world items a virtual life

Setting in motion the Internet of Things

British salesman Kevin Ashton gave real-world items a virtual life
Election 2015: Latest polling reveals Tories and Labour on course to win the same number of seats - with the SNP holding the balance of power

Election 2015: A dead heat between Mr Bean and Dick Dastardly!

Lord Ashcroft reveals latest polling – and which character voters associate with each leader
Audiences queue up for 'true stories told live' as cult competition The Moth goes global

Cult competition The Moth goes global

The non-profit 'slam storytelling' competition was founded in 1997 by the novelist George Dawes Green and has seen Malcolm Gladwell, Salman Rushdie and Molly Ringwald all take their turn at the mic
Pakistani women come out fighting: A hard-hitting play focuses on female Muslim boxers

Pakistani women come out fighting

Hard-hitting new play 'No Guts, No Heart, No Glory' focuses on female Muslim boxers
Leonora Carrington transcended her stolid background to become an avant garde star

Surreal deal: Leonora Carrington

The artist transcended her stolid background to become an avant garde star
LGBT History Month: Pupils discuss topics from Sappho to same-sex marriage

Education: LGBT History Month

Pupils have been discussing topics from Sappho to same-sex marriage
11 best gel eyeliners

Go bold this season: 11 best gel eyeliners

Use an ink pot eyeliner to go bold on the eyes with this season's feline flicked winged liner
Cricket World Cup 2015: Tournament runs riot to make the event more hit than miss...

Cricket World Cup runs riot to make the event more hit than miss...

The tournament has reached its halfway mark and scores of 300 and amazing catches abound. One thing never changes, though – everyone loves beating England
Katarina Johnson-Thompson: Heptathlete ready to jump at first major title

Katarina Johnson-Thompson: Ready to jump at first major title

After her 2014 was ruined by injury, 21-year-old Briton is leading pentathlete going into this week’s European Indoors. Now she intends to turn form into gold
Syrian conflict is the world's first 'climate change war', say scientists, but it won't be the last one

Climate change key in Syrian conflict

And it will trigger more war in future
How I outwitted the Gestapo

How I outwitted the Gestapo

My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
The nation's favourite animal revealed

The nation's favourite animal revealed

Women like cuddly creatures whilst men like creepy-crawlies
Is this the way to get young people to vote?

Getting young people to vote

From #VOTESELFISH to Bite the Ballot