23.09.2016 14:08 - in: Serie A S

    Allegri keen to build on winning momentum

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    Massimiliano Allegri calls on his side to return from Sicily with three points “at all costs.” Gianluigi Buffon and Sami Khedira in line to return
    Testing week ahead

    “A tough week lies ahead for us. Taking in three away matches in a row is not ideal; not only are we not playing in front of our own fans but also doing a lot of travelling in between. We must not leave Palermo without three points; a win is crucial after Wednesday and our defeat last weekend.” 

    Marvellous midweek

    “The way we played against Cagliari was more important than the way we approached the game tactically. We were flawless on the ball and excellent off it.” 

    Defensive depth

    “There are no problems with Buffon, he will start tomorrow as usual, likewise Rugani who impressed me immensely on Wednesday for his composure and authority in defence. Chiellini meanwhile will be rested.

    “As for Benatia, we’re hoping he’ll be back to full fitness as soon as possible. In a run of fixtures like this, it’s of enormous benefit to have five very good defenders to choose from to keep the squad fresh and focused.”

    Midfield places

    “I’ll decide on the midfield and wide positions between now and tomorrow afternoon. Hernanes or Lemina will play the holding role while Khedira will slot back in after being rested for Cagliari. If Cuadrado doesn’t start then there’s a strong chance he’ll come off the bench. He rejoined the group yesterday and has been training as normal.” 

    Attacking options

    “I believe that Mandzukic and Higuain can work well together, Mario for example has the attributes to cut in off the flanks. Dybala for me has played very well recently and the only thing that’s missing is a goal. The fact that he’s being double, even triple-marked is a good thing for us as it opens up space in other parts of the final third.

    "Pjaca too is coming on well and it’s only normal that he needs a bit of time to readjust after playing in a different league. It’s worth saying again, I think in time he can become one of the best wingers in Europe.”

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