AC Milan's Nigel de Jong relishing match against Juventus

The former Manchester City midfielder is looking forward to the contest against the league leaders at San Siro, as Milan try to recover from their disappointing start to the season
Nigel de Jong is eagerly anticipating the match against Juventus on Sunday evening, claiming AC Milan are back to their best.

The Rossoneri have had a poor start to their campaign but will be boosted by the 3-1 victory over Anderlecht midweek which helped them to qualify for the last 16 of the Champions League.

And the 27-year-old believes recent performances have given his side reason to be optimistic about their chances, although is aware of the threat Antonio Conte's men will pose.

De Jong told Tuttosport: "Juve deserve great respect, after a lot of bad publicity they are back to being one of the best teams in Europe.

"They have been impressive in the Champions League, but we know that we can pose a strong challenge and get the result we need.

"We are recovering as well, we've found a new system and we feel as if we are revolutionised and back as a real force."

The Netherlands international spoke favourably about the Bianconeri, as he recalled his own history against the Italian outfit.

"I remember the last time I played Juventus," De Jong added.

"[Fabio] Capello was the coach, and I was playing against [Zlatan] Ibrahimovic, [Gianluigi] Buffon and [Fabio] Cannavaro.

"If I were to remember any match against Juve though, it would be Ajax's Champions League semi-final when Juventus had players like [Gianluca] Vialli and [Fabrizio] Ravanelli and they beat my old team in both legs."

AC Milan, having had a slow start to the season, are 17 points off Juventus who boast a four-point lead at the summit of Serie A.