Massimiliano Allegri has outlined his hopes, expectations and plan of attack in facing European champions Barcelona on Wednesday night.
Speaking ahead of the Champions League Group H match between the two at San Siro that will in effect determine who takes top spot, Allegri admitted he is primarily humbled by the chance to face the Blaugrana.
“Experiencing these evenings is the dream for everyone,” cites the Rossoneri Coach, who admits Barcelona go into the match as “the strongest team in the world.
“We must try to win by playing well and making the most of the opportunities that we create, also because in Barcelona in the first 20 minutes we had several.”
Allegri detailed how he anticipates facing and trying to beat Barcelona, a team renowned for high possession statistics in games.
“They are hard to play against because they are technical and can vary the pace of the game, they are good at speeding it up and slowing it down.
“It will take a lot of balance, we cannot be impatient and will need to play a little higher on the pitch to make sure that Barcelona has less possession.”
The Coach has seen his squad’s injury crisis lessen in recent weeks, with Alexandre Pato’s return against Fiorentina at the weekend presenting a selection decision in attack. Pato netted a first-minute opening goal at the Camp Nou in the reverse fixture in mid-September.
“There are no major doubts. I have to decide who will play between Pato and Robinho and in midfield I will assess in the afternoon the condition of [Clarence] Seedorf and in defence [Gianluca] Zambrotta will return.”
Allegri also reflected on seeing Antonio Cassano return to the club’s training base yesterday, just 17 days after undergoing heart surgery.
“It was a pleasure to see him at Milanello, we hope to have him back in the best condition as soon as possible.”
Think you know your Italian football? Share your knowledge, tips and comments to win cash prizes in OLBG's World Cup tipster competition - £10,000 to be won!