Saturday’s game against Fiorentina is more vital than next week’s Champions League battle with Barcelona, insists Milan boss Massimiliano Allegri.
The Rossoneri face the European champions on Wednesday as they look to top their group, but will face the Viola in Tuscany first.
“I’m not thinking about Barcelona,” stated Allegri. “Tomorrow’s game is more important because we have already qualified for the last 16 of the European Cup.
“It will be fundamental to do well at Fiorentina after the international break. We know that we have an important month ahead of us. We want to stay near the top.
“I want six wins from our next six Serie A games. I want 18 points.”
Milan, who have won their last five games domestically, will be Delio Rossi’s first test since he replaced Sinisa Mihajlovic as Fiorentina boss.
“They’ve changed Coach and will have some new enthusiasm,” the former Cagliari tactician continued.
“We’ll have to play a great game to take a positive result away with us, but it is never easy playing against Rossi’s sides.
“Fiorentina are technically a good side and the first game after a break is usually an unknown. That’s why we’ll have to remain alert.”
Turning to team news, the Coach noted that Urby Emanuelson had picked up a knock, but should be available.
“I have doubts over him, but also when it comes to Massimo Ambrosini and Mark Van Bommel. Alberto Aquilani will play though.”
Allegri will also be boosted with the return of Alexandre Pato who has been out for over 50 days with injury.
“He hasn’t played for two months, but he’s in good shape. It would be a risk to start him though – it’ll be important on Saturday to have good players on the bench.”
Allegri was also asked for his opinion on the January transfer market given that he may be without Antonio Cassano for six months following his heart surgery.
“It’s hard to talk about transfers as there are still 40 days to go until the window opens. Anything can happen from now until then.
“I hope we don’t need any new players, but if we do then we’ll evaluate things. It would certainly be ideal if we signed somebody who could play in the Champions League.”
Think you know your Italian football? Share your knowledge, tips and comments to win cash prizes in OLBG's tipster competition - £5,000 monthly.