17 October 2014 17:05
Fernando Torres hopes Milan’s Serie A visit to Verona on Sunday will see him play the full 90 minutes for his new club for the first time.
Since joining on a two-year loan from Chelsea, the Spaniard has made four appearances and scored one goal, in the 2-2 draw at Empoli last month.
Of those four appearances, three were starts with Torres replaced on each occasion, and the 30-year-old is in search of consistent action after becoming a bit-part player at Stamford Bridge.
Despite his wish to feature more frequently, Torres was full of praise for coach Filippo Inzaghi, who had a spell on loan at Verona during the 1993-94 campaign.
“He doesn’t take care of just the attack, but he leads the entire group,” Torres told Corriere della Sera.
“Of course, he can give me some precious advice on movements inside the area.
“The substitutions? Being replaced isn’t something I like, just like the other players. I have no problem with Inzaghi or the coaching staff, but I would like to play the 90 minutes.”
Milan were boosted by the news that winger Jeremy Menez (hip) and goalkeeper Diego Lopez (thigh) both took part in training during the week and look set to be in contention for Sunday.
The visitors have enjoyed a positive start to the season under Inzaghi, winning three of their opening six matches and losing just once – 1-0 to champions and leaders Juventus.
Verona are behind them in the table only on goal difference, though, as Andrea Mandorlini’s men look to build on last year’s 10th-placed finish.
“The match against Milan is a complicated game,” said club director general Giovanni Gardini.
“We come from a good result against Cagliari [a 1-0 win prior to the international break] – this give us morale.
“There are difficulties – we had several players engaged with the national teams – but we hope that it can be a feast for our fans. I hope to see a stadium of 26-27,000 people.”
The home fans will hope for a repeat of the corresponding fixture last season, when a brace from veteran striker Luca Toni sealed a 2-1 success on the opening day.