AC Milan boss Stefano Pioli boldly claims that he would choose Zlatan Ibrahimovic over Inter Milan forward Romelu Lukaku “all his life”.  The two faces each other on Sunday’s Milan derby.

Ibrahimovic and Lukaku meet for the first time since their fiery exchange in last month’s Coppa Italian fixture. The derby beefed up that it resulted in an inquiry by the Italian Football Federation. The two are set to renew their rivalry today.

Pioli said he was confident there would be no spillover from January’s encounter when the two teams meet on Sunday.

“What happened is now over. It will be a heartfelt battle between them but also one with great respect and sportsmanship,” Pioli said.

“Tomorrow we have to be an attentive and determined team, to defend well and attack well. If had to choose between Ibra and Lukaku as my striker, I would keep Zlatan all my life.”

Milan dropped to second place following a surprise defeat at Spezia last weekend. The game opened the door for Inter to move to the top of the standings.

Antonio Conte’s side is one point ahead of their rivals, with champions Juventus eight points adrift in fifth.

Pioli added, “Sunday is not decisive for the fate of the championship but it is important because we have been in the lead all season.”

He revealed that he has prepared his team for the derby, for it is essential in the race for the title.

“If you approach a match looking for a draw, it may suit you, but you are closer to defeat than to victory. We will go out on the pitch to win,” Pioli said.

Meanwhile, Inter heads into Milan Derby mourning their Ex-defender Mauro Bellugi who died on Saturday at age 71.

Inter has shared their condolences to the football fraternity, “Today he leaves us, a great man, a great footballer, a true ‘Interista’.  Rest in peace Mauro Bellugi,” Inter Milan wrote on Twitter after Bellugi passed away in Milan.