07.12.2015 19:54 - in: Champions League S

    Allegri: "Most important game of the group"

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    Massimiliano Allegri previews a crucial tie for his team: “Claiming top spot would see us avoid Barcelona, Real Madrid and Bayern Munich. We want to maintain our unbeaten streak in Europe”

    Massimiliano Allegri is keen for his troops to avoid the likes of Barcelona, Real Madrid and Bayern Munich in the next round of this season’s Champions League, knowing that a draw in tomorrow’s final Group D game against Sevilla would see them do just that.

    The Bianconeri’s form in the early stages of Europe’s premier club competition has represented an improvement on last season and finishing top of a competitive group would be just reward for their performances.

    Speaking to the media in Seville, Allegri began: “It’s the most important group game. Claiming top spot would see us avoid Barca, Real and Bayern, the three strongest teams in Europe. We also want to maintain our unbeaten streak in Europe.

    "We’ve improved on last season’s group display, we’ve got more points on the board and conceded just two goals, both away from home.”

    While spirits in the camp remain high following a run of six straight wins in all competitions, there have been a few injury headaches for Allegri ahead of Tuesday night’s fixture, with Mario Mandzukic, Patrice Evra, Sami Khedira, Martin Caceres and Mario Lemina all remaining behind to recover in Vinovo.

    Providing an update from the treatment table, the Tuscan tactician added: “Mandzukic came in with the flu this morning and bringing him would have represented a risk. Evra took a knock to the knee on Friday and missed out on two days of training. He tried to shake it off this morning, but I preferred to leave him behind.

    “Khedira’s undergone tests and everything’s coming along well. Caceres needs to work in Vinovo, while Lemina’s suffered the same tendon problem that’s currently keeping him back.”

    One player the boss can count on for tomorrow night is man of the moment Paulo Dybala, whose sensational performances in recent weeks have earned him rave reviews from all quarters.

    And Allegri is confident that if the young Argentine continues to work hard and improve, he and fellow frontman Alvaro Morata have all the required attributes to become two of world football’s hottest properties.

    “I’ve never doubted his qualities. He had one season in Serie A, but didn’t play towards the end so needed protecting.

    "He’s doing well but there will also be a time when he’ll require a breather. He’s got what it takes to be one of the best in the world, he just needs to keep improving. The same goes for Morata.”

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