Allegri: “On top of our game for Atalanta”
“Playing away in Bergamo is always tough. Atalanta work hard and they’re a team that love to get in your face.
“They’re also in excellent form at the moment and played very well away to Lyon on Thursday night. That performance was very impressive for a team with such little international experience.
“Therefore, we know that we face a difficult match tomorrow. We need to be prepared for that and play well from a technical standpoint in order to come away with a positive result.”
“Gonzalo Higuain will be playing tomorrow. He’s an important member of our team and always has been, even if he started the last two games on the bench. Gonzalo needs to have that ambition to fight and better himself year on year, using the likes of Buffon, Barzagli, Chiellini, Lichtsteiner and Marchisio – players who have won six straight Scudetto titles – as a source of inspiration. We all know that he is capable of making the difference on the pitch with his goals.
“Giorgio Chiellini may have a plaster on his forehead, but that wound will not be stopping him from playing tomorrow night. Blaise Matuidi and Rodrigo Bentancur will start in midfield, while up front I just need to make a call on Juan Cuadrado’s involvement. I’ll field one of him, Douglas Costa and Federico Bernardeschi from the first minute tomorrow.
“Last but not least, Gianluigi Buffon will start in goal against Atalanta. We’re happy with Wojciech Szczesny’s performances so far, but it’s Gigi who gets the nod tomorrow night.
“Regarding injuries, we hope to have the likes of Sami Khedira, Miralem Pjanic, Claudio Marchisio and Benedikt Höwedes back again after the international break. Meanwhile, Mattia De Sciglio and Marko Pjaca are continuing their respective rehabilitation programmes.”
AREAS FOR IMPROVEMENT
“It’s still early days in the season and we must improve in many areas over the course of the campaign.
“We need to work on our physical condition and quality of play, even if we’ve put in some much improved performances recently. On an individual level, the players need to keep raising their game too, but we’re only just over a month into the season and time is on our side.
“Tomorrow is the final match before the October international break and it’s important that we end this series of fixtures on a positive note.”