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The striker, who appeared for both Milanese clubs during his career, feels Claudio Ranieri's men must beat their rivals or face falling out of the race for the Serie A title

EXCLUSIVE
By Andrea Ghislandi

Maurizio Ganz believes that Inter must avoid defeat to AC Milan in Serie A on Sunday in order to maintain their momentous recent form.

In an exclusive interview with Goal.com, the 43-year-old former striker was quizzed prior to Sunday's Derby della Madonnina and reasoned that Inter will need the three points against their rivals, as the win would be crucial in ensuring the former club world champions press on with their revival.

"Inter have everything to lose, as in the case of defeat, it would nullify all the good work they have done lately," said Ganz. "An 11-point gap in the standings would cut [Inter] off from the title.

"The derby is crucial for Inter's comeback. I think they can reach the top three, but first place would be really difficult."

Ganz, who enjoyed prolific spells for both of the Milan giants in his career and is arguably best known for his Coppa Italia hat-trick against Inter during the 1998-99 campaign, then moved on to AC Milan, and reserved praise for both unsettled striker Alexandre Pato and coach Massimiliano Allegri, who recently penned a contract extension to remain with the club.

"The most surprising thing with AC Milan is the ease with which they are winning games while not playing well, like last Sunday against Atalanta," mused Ganz.

"I think that if Pato were at 100 per cent, he would be the ideal partner for Zlatan Ibrahimovic, but on Sunday I think Robinho will play.

"The thing I like about Allegri is he is more than just a good personality - when he wanted to do so, no trouble was made ​​in sending great players to the bench."

Ganz then gave his opinion on how the 90 minutes would unfold on Sunday, and said that he expects to see a ferocious midfield battle take place as well as plenty of passion and goals on show.

"The middle of the park is where you win or lose the game. The midfield battle will have much intensity. Although not fully fit, [Wesley] Sneijder should play in these kind of games.

"I expect a match that will be very open, a derby with a lot of goals and a lot of emotions."

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