Saturday February 9 2013
Allegri: 'Balotelli destined for front page'

Massimiliano Allegri is enjoying the renewed enthusiasm around Milan ahead of their Cagliari trip and admits “Mario Balotelli is destined to be on the front pages.”

The Rossoneri’s fixture was moved from the Is Arenas to Turin and back again this week, but there are reports the local authorities are staging a counter-appeal to have it played behind closed doors.

“During this week we focused only on our training. We are facing a good team with excellent individual talents, regardless of the venue,” said the Coach in his Press conference.

“I like this atmosphere of enthusiasm, as the lads have done so much since Week 9 onwards. I told them that the difficult moment comes now, as if you are a sprinter then it takes a lot to drop from 10 seconds to 9.99.

“Now we are there, the pressure is on not to drop points, knowing we started with a handicap. Cagliari are a good side in attack, midfield and defence with players like Davide Astori and Daniele Conti. Radja Nainggolan is out, but Albin Ekdal and Daniele Dessena are solid.”

Balotelli started last week after Giampaolo Pazzini pulled out in the warm-up and ended up scoring both goals in the 2-1 win over Udinese.

“Mario is destined to be on the front pages, as he suffers from an over-the-top media pressure and everything he does is blown up out of proportion. He has the qualities to act as an assist-man and it’s only natural he has to improve his fitness levels, as he has barely played for three months.”

There are reports that after using the 4-3-3 system, Allegri could adopt the so-called ‘4-2-fantasia’ with Bojan Krkic behind Balotelli, Stephan El Shaarawy and M’Baye Niang.

“It is an alternative I have and there are games in which that system can be used. Bojan plays very well behind a centre-forward.

“At the back Kevin Constant and Philippe Mexes have recovered, but Ignazio Abate has played a lot recently, so it’s probable Mattia De Sciglio will start tomorrow.”