Massimiliano Allegri has warned Milan they must play with “intensity” against Bologna in their first ever lunchtime kick-off.
“It will be a strange game, as we are playing for the first time at 12.30pm. We simulated these conditions in training, so hope to reach this game with the right intensity,” said the Coach.
“Bologna are doing extraordinary things considering the financial situation of the club. They are an organised side and in moments of difficulty brought out the team spirit.”
The Rossoneri are top of the Serie A table and qualified for the Champions League knockouts, but their 2-0 defeat to Ajax on Wednesday ended the unbeaten home record after practically a year.
“I didn't like the loss at all, even if I understand when there's nothing at stake that concentration can slip. I tried to field the best possible line-up in the circumstances.”
Thiago Silva picked up a meniscus injury during that game and it is unclear when he will be back on the playing field.
The main imperative in January will be to reinforce the attack, as Pippo Inzaghi will be out for the rest of the season.
“It is possible we will bring in a new striker to complete the team in January. President Silvio Berlusconi is very happy with how things are going, but in his view we can play even better than we are now.”
If Milan beat Bologna, then they could break away at the top of the table, as Juventus and Lazio face each other in Rome this weekend.
“I don't think Lazio-Juve will decide who is the ‘anti-Milan.' There isn't just one side other than us who can fight for the Scudetto, as there's Roma, Inter and I include Napoli. We cannot let the concentration levels drop.”
Think you know your Italian football? Share your knowledge, tips and comments to win cash prizes in OLBG's tipster competition - £5,000 monthly.