Milan out to prevent Juve escape
Published : 02 Oct 2011 08:05:36
AC Milan coach Massimiliano Allegri has set his sights on reeling in Juventus after two straight victories that have lifted spirits amongst the champions.
A draw against Barcelona in the Champions League aside, Milan had a difficult start to the season, picking up just two points from their opening three league games.
Successive victories against Cesena and Viktoria Plzen mean the Rossoneri can now go into Sunday's meeting with the league leaders in Turin with renewed confidence, although Allegri acknowledges that Milan's task won't be easy against opponents who have had the week off rather than being involved in Europe.
"We're only at the beginning but we still have to try to reel in Juventus or at least maintain the gap," said Allegri, whose side are only three points behind Juve despite sitting in the bottom half of the table.
"But Juve have the great advantage of not playing during the week."
Milan will still be without Brazilian forwards Pato and Robinho but at least Zlatan Ibrahimovic came through a 90-minute run-out against the Czech champions unscathed.
Allegri said there is also a possibility that Kevin-Prince Boateng will be fit to face the Old Lady of Turin and hence reclaim the trequartista role behind the front two that has been filled by Urby Emanuelson and Alberto Aquilani in his absence.
"Of course it would be better to have all our forwards fit, that way someone could rest," added Allegri.
"But when you win you recover your energy more quickly."
Allegri would like to give Antonio Cassano a breather but the Italy forward has been manning the ship while his team-mates have been injured.
In other games Udinese, who sit behind Juventus only on goals scored, host lowly Bologna.
Rock-bottom Cesena host high-flying Chievo, who are only a point off the top, as they go in search of their first points of the season.
Fixtures (1300 GMT unless stated):
Novara v Catania (1030), Cesena v Chievo, Fiorentina v Lazio, Lecce v Cagliari, Palermo v Siena, Parma v Genoa, Udinese v Bologna, Juventus v AC Milan (1845)