11.02.2017 12:57 - in: Serie A S

    Allegri: "Crunch time in our season"

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    Massimiliano Allegri calls on his side to win a fifth straight Serie A game for the first time this season in Sardinia tomorrow night

    Title talk

    "Napoli won last night, Roma have a very winnable game up next. Quite simply, this is a very delicate moment in our season. Tomorrow will be our second long away trip in the space of a few days and just have to keep pushing on.

    "We're aware of the importance of the task at hand and we won't allow our thoughts to drift to the Champions League just yet, not while we have two big Serie A matches to think about first. We haven't won five league games in a row yet and tomorrow night is the perfect opportunity to finally do so."

    Showdown in Sardinia

    "Cagliari are on a good little run at the moment and their home form is among the best in the top flight. Traditionally they are very tough to beat at the Sant'Elia, and they always get good results against the top sides." 

    "We're in good nick ourselves at the moment and we need to carry this level of performance through to the end of the campaign."

    Team news

    "Chiellini and Alex Sandro will be back tomorrow, I was happy with Dani Alves' return against Crotone on Wednesday and Medhi Benatia has come back from Africa in very good shape.

    "We've already played eight games in 2017, some guys have featured in all of them, some of them in seven, so it's up to me to keep the squad as fresh as possible and make sure we keep our intensity and concentration as high as we can.

    "Buffon will start tomorrow but may sit out the Palermo match next Friday; Neto is a top goalkeeper to have as your number two. I'm fairly confident that Cuadrado will play down the right but I'm considering Mandzukic, Sturaro or Pjaca for the opposite flank.

    "Dybala and Higuain will definitely pair up in attack and it'll be a toss up between Marchisio, Khedira and Rincon for the deeper midfield positions. Barzagli won't play but we hope to have him back next week."

    Eyes on the future

    "What has been achieved will go down in history but I've never given much thought to records or statistics. What matters is being top come the end of the season - that's our main target. Plus we'll try to finish our cup campaigns as best we can. Records are there to be broken and consigned to the past." 

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