Gattuso's Milan ready to dismantle Juve 'killing machine'

Turin (Italy) (AFP) - Gennaro Gattuso warned AC Milan were ready to dismantle the Juventus 'killing machine' in their pursuit of Champions League football next season.

Six-time champions Juventus are top of the standings and take on AC Milan Saturday three days before Real Madrid in the Champions League quarter-finals.

"We need the perfect game. Juve are a killing machine. They are used to preparing for two important games in the space of a few days," said Gattuso, whose side are sixth but within touching distance of the Champions League places.

"They fear nothing and they will be focusing only on the game with us and they will start preparing for Real Madrid only after tomorrow."

Gattuso has turned around AC Milan since taking over late November with the former European giants notching up 25 points in 2018 -- second only behind Juventus despite having a game in hand.

"Juve have been unbeatable for the past six years and we are aware it's a tough match but I am confident we'll play a great game," continued the former AC Milan midfielder.

"The players who were away with their national teams managed to recharge their batteries and came back with more relaxed faces.

"We really needed the break. I saw the boys in good condition in the past few days and they can't wait to play this game. We hope to keep up the good work in this final part of the season."

"We are fully focused on the Juve game, there's a lot at stake for both the teams. We can't make any false step. We are in the running for an important achievement which was almost impossible a few months ago."

The match will also see former player Juventus ace Leonardo Bonucci return to Turin for the first time since exiting the club for Milan after clashing with coach Massimiliano Allegri.

"It's the first time Leo will be back in Turin as a Juve opponent and of course it's going to be a particular feeling for him, but I saw him really focused," said Gattuso who also revealed that summer signing Andrea Conti will undergo surgery on his left knee in the United States.

The 24-year-old full-back was ruled out in September for sixth months with knee ligament damage with the Italian reinjuring the same knee in training.