NEWS
Saturday April 20 2013
Allegri: 'El Shaarawy starts with Juve'

Massimiliano Allegri confirmed Stephan El Shaarawy will start against Juventus tomorrow night and insists he was right to let Andrea Pirlo leave Milan.

The two giants go head-to-head at the Juventus Stadium on Sunday evening, click here for a match preview.

While Mario Balotelli is banned, Massimo Ambrosini, Ignazio Abate and Kevin-Prince Boateng return from injury and El Shaarawy is restored after being sensationally dropped against Napoli.

“Ambrosini is a player of great experience and it is important to have him on the field in games like this,” said the Coach in his Press conference.

“I was not courageous in leaving El Shaarawy on the bench. It was a technical choice and I would do it again. I think he had a great season with real intensity and important moments, so being on the bench for one game doesn’t change anything in terms of how I see the lad.

“There was no El Shaarawy ‘problem,’ and by stirring up this controversy the media is making it seem as if Robinho didn’t deserve to play. In any case, I can confirm El Shaarawy will start tomorrow.

“We didn’t play badly in Florence, but now have to pick up as many points as possible to reach the Champions League, either via the play-offs in third place or directly in second. Now we need to stay in Napoli’s slipstream and keep Fiorentina behind us.

“Juventus are well organised and want to reach the Scudetto as quickly as possible, so it is going to be an important match for both teams. It will take a great performance from either side to get the better of the other.

“Juve are the strongest team in Serie A, as they are top of the table and have a big advantage over second, so that shows the difference between the Old Lady and the others.”

Antonio Conte has been reshuffling his pack recently, using Claudio Marchisio as a support striker so he can use Paul Pogba in midfield.

“I don’t know if they’ll play with one or two strikers. The Bianconeri want to win in order to take revenge on us for when we beat them earlier this season.

“My future? I will only say the club has given me a great deal and I have a good rapport with Adriano Galliani. The growth of the squad has been phenomenal in recent months and the club also takes credit for that.”

Balotelli is suspended, but surprised many by opting against going to New York for the Time 100 gala after he was named one of the most influential people in the world, as it would interfere with his training schedule.

“I want to underline the wonderful and very professional choice Balotelli made,” added Allegri. “Since he has been at Milan, he has behaved very well, it’s just that anything he does hits the headlines.”

Juventus star Pirlo is set to release his autobiography and essentially blames Allegri for pushing him out of Milan after 10 years.

“At times when you put together a team, you have to evaluate many different situations,” responded the Coach.

“Nobody can put Andrea’s qualities in doubt and it seems to me that he proved as much at Juventus as he did at Milan.”

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