sport

Pazzini targets derby goal

AC Milan are still in the hunt for a spot in the Europa League heading into Sunday's derby against city rivals Inter.

The Rossoneri saw their five-match winning streak come to an end in last weekend's 2-0 loss at Roma.

Clarence Seedorf's side are still just one point adrift of sixth-placed Torino, who are in the last European qualifying spot.

Both teams have endured difficult campaigns but can pacify their respective fans with a victory in the game that is known as the Derby della Madonnina.

"We want to win the derby for us and for our fans," AC Milan striker Giampaolo Pazzini said. "It's an important week.

"We are coming off a defeat to Roma.

"The derby is always a special game and I want to do well as an ex-Inter player.

"I've never scored in the derby, so it would be good to end that taboo.

"We also want to give the joy of victory to our fans with a good result on Sunday, particularly during this difficult year when we haven't held the position we are accustomed to.

"This derby can be an opportunity to bring satisfaction to us, the fans and the club."

Milan, who will be at full strength, lost 1-0 at Inter earlier this season.

Nerazzurri defender Andrea Ranocchia expects a battle from start to finish.

"I expect my team to win although the derby is always competitive," Ranocchia said. "The derby is all about passion, history and atmosphere.

"We are really determined to win this game but we expect a difficult battle."

Inter drew their last game against Napoli and are fifth in the standings, six points clear of Milan with three games remaining.

Nerazzurri coach Walter Mazzarri welcomes back defenders Jorge Pires and Walter Samuel from suspension.