Tuesday February 1 2011
Pato gets the nod

Milan boss Massimiliano Allegri will give Alexandre Pato another start against Lazio this evening in the hope that he gels with Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

Pato's many injury problems this season have meant that he has yet to form a bond with the Sweden international, even though he has scored eight goals in nine starts.

It's said that Allegri thinks of Antonio Cassano as his first choice second striker, but the fact he can't play in the Champions League means Pato's stock remains high at San Siro.

La Gazzetta dello Sport understands that Pato and Cassano will share the role with one or the other going on the bench throughout the remainder of the season in a relay-like arrangement.

"If Alex plays, I expect a good showing from him like against Cesena and Sampdoria," Allegri said. "You can't put Pato in discussion just because he doesn't play all the games from the first minute.

"Milan are playing on three fronts always with great intensity. I am really happy with what he has been doing recently. I see him a lot calmer in training."

In the meantime, it looks as though Thiago Silva will reprise his makeshift role in midfield as Milan's injury problems continue to throw a spanner in the works.

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