Mihajlovic praises 'exemplary' Balotelli

The striker has a long history of indiscipline but has impressed since returning to AC Milan in August

Mario Balotelli could be in line for his first AC Milan start since returning to San Siro against Udinese after impressing Sinisa Mihajlovic with his disciplined approach.

The striker left Milan for Liverpool in 2014 but returned to San Siro in late August after struggling to make an impact during a disappointing 12 months at Anfield.

Balotelli’s first appearance after making the season-long loan switch came in the derby with Inter – a game Milan lost 1-0 – and he played the final 20 minutes of Saturday’s 3-2 win over Palermo.

But he may now get the chance to make an impression from the start against Udinese on Tuesday.

“I knew Balotelli when he was 17 [at Inter], and I’m back with him at 25, I don’t know how he behaved in the meantime,” said the Serbian coach.

“Now he’s behaving in an exemplary way. I always try to encourage him to train at his best.

“Could he start tomorrow? I’ve still not decided, let’s see how the lads are tomorrow morning, and who has the right feeling to play.”

Whoever earns a starting spot will be expected to produce an attacking display at Stadio Friuli, with Mihajlovic keen to take advantage of Udinese’s early season struggles.

He added: “We will have to impose our game. I have a lot of respect for Udinese and their coach Stefano Colantuono, but at the moment they are under a bit of pressure. 

“If we play like we know how, by repeating our past two performances, we will make it hard for them. 

“It’s important that we have an attacking approach, but we cannot ignore our defensive duties.”

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