Stefano Pioli believes AC Milan should finish inside Serie A’s top four “as a minimum” ahead of their trip Atalanta on Saturday.

The 2021-22 champions reignite their bid for a second Scudetto in three years when they face Atalanta, who find themselves in eighth.

Pioli emphasised the importance of a win if they are to heap pressure on Inter and Juventus in first and second.

“There’s still a lot of football to be played before everything is decided, but we do need to put together a run of results in Serie A,” Pioli said.

“That’s what we’re aiming for. It’s our objective and tomorrow we have a great chance to do just that.

“We need to finish in the top four at a minimum but we’re aiming higher.”

Atalanta are without a win in four after Monday’s 3-0 defeat at Torino.

But Pioli refused to overlook Milan’s opponents and predicted they will bring the fight at Gewiss Stadium.

“Atalanta are always a tough team to face,” he added.

“They’ll fight for Champions League football until the end.

“We’ll be facing a complete side, which has quality, a big presence, intensity and midfielders who can chip in with a few goals.

“We know that they have it in them to come at us with aggression and we’ll have to adapt to evade their press.

“We’ll need to put in a top performance if we’re to come away with all three points.”

Pioli pinpointed the threat of Atalanta’s Charles De Ketelaere who is on loan from Milan and is contention to play against his parent club.

“De Ketelaere is playing in a more attacking role, Pioli said.

“He’s a player with a lot of promise and should he play, we’ll need to pay a lot of attention to him when we’re defending.”