Thursday September 8 2011
Allegri places Lazio above Barca

Milan boss Massimiliano Allegri has underlined the significance of Friday's game against Lazio.

Although the Rossoneri will face Barcelona in a massive Champions League match next week, he's just focusing on their first Serie A tie of the season for now.

"We won't talk about Barcelona until we get to Spain," the former Cagliari tactician said on Thursday afternoon.

"The game against Lazio is our most difficult from now until December. It's an important match as it could allow us to go to Barcelona and Napoli with the right mentality.

"Friday's game will be tough because it is our first match for 20 days if we ignore the Como friendly.

"Fortunately our physical and mental condition is good, a few of our internationals got a game this week and this is a good thing.

"You have to be ready mentally to play this type of game. Lazio will be fighting for the championship this season.

"They have strengthened and have been playing as a team for a year – even if they now have Cissè and Klose in attack.

"They'll play an open game and I don't think they'll play as deep as they did a year ago. It will be a great game."

Zlatan Ibrahimovic declared himself fit to start earlier today, but Brazilian international Robinho is unlikely to be available.

"I think it'll be hard for him to be ready," the tactician added.

"The new signings? One from Alberto Aquilani or Antonio Nocerino could start the game against Lazio."

The reigning champions will begin the season as Scudetto favourites, but the Italian is eager to reserve judgement on whether the new Milan is stronger than the previous one.

"We'll wait until June and then see what we have won."