Massimiliano Allegri believes criticism of both Milan and Juventus has been “unfair” ahead of tomorrow’s clash.
The Rossoneri step into the Juventus Stadium on Sunday at 19.45 UK time (18.45 GMT). Click here for a match preview.
“Antonio Conte is a great Coach, the most successful in Italy over the last two years,” said Allegri in his Press conference.
“Despite the criticism, Juve are the favourites for the title and played very well against Galatasaray apart from the two goals conceded due to Leonardo Bonucci errors. At times results change people’s opinions on a performance.”
Both sides stalled midweek, as Juventus drew 2-2 with Galatasaray and Milan scraped a 1-1 with Ajax after a very defensive first half.
“At the moment, there has been unfair criticism of both Juventus and Milan. Galatasaray had one and a half shots on target, while Ajax have historically caused problems for Milan. On Tuesday I was very happy with the performance, as we were organised and risked very little. In the second half we deserved to take the lead.
“Juve play differently to Ajax, as they are stronger physically and technically. The side is constantly improving and after the break for international duty we’ll have almost everyone available.”
Mario Balotelli continues his three-match ban for insulting the referee, while Stephan El Shaarawy, Kaka, Mattia De Sciglio, Giampaolo Pazzini, Daniele Bonera, Matias Silvestre and Valter Birsa are injured.
“The two who start in attack will be Alessandro Matri and Robinho,” revealed Allegri. “Matri is just missing a goal, as he was unlucky, but we hope tomorrow he can find the breakthrough.
“How will we lock down Andrea Pirlo and Leonardo Bonucci? We’ll let them both play, that way it’ll be more entertaining. Andrea is doing great things this season too and it’d be a shame to man-mark him.
“I am utterly sure the lads are up to the task, then the result depends on many elements. It is not a test for us, but a fascinating game between two teams who are separated by eight points.
“I am confident for tomorrow. Last season we were much further behind, so this will be a more balanced campaign. The teams fighting for the top three have reinforced.
It is going to be difficult, so we must play with our heads and our hearts. Fatigue is an issue, as I haven’t been able to rest some players who needed it.”
The Rossoneri continue to concede goals from set plays, particularly headers, so how can Allegri counter this trend?
“We are paying for these situations, but not just from corners or free kicks. Every ball floated into the box causes problems. We need to be more concentrated, as when we are then we rarely concede.”