24.08.2018 13:30 - in: Serie A S

      Allegri: "Excited to return home tomorrow night!"

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      Massimiliano Allegri looks forward to the Bianconeri's first home match of the season against Lazio


      "There's excitement in the air! Lazio will make it a great encounter, they defeated us last season at Allianz Stadium to end a 41-game unbeaten run. So tomorrow is very important, even if it is only our second match of the season.

      "Lazio are a physical and very well-organised team, who love to hit their opponents on the counter-attack. Therefore, we need to stay very focused throughout tomorrow's match and put in a better performance than last Saturday.

      "Simone Inzaghi is a good young coach, he’s a nice a guy and he came so close to steering them into the Champions League last season. He has achieved very good results with them both in Europe and in Italy.

      "We'll show great respect to Lazio but we are aiming for three points tomorrow night." 


      "Blaise Matuidi is an important player for us. He's training well and is in excellent condition, so he could play tomorrow. He did very well last year and got a good goal tally scoring five times.

      "Federico Bernardeschi is a great lad and he’s playing well right now. He did very well on tour and he's showing that he's capable of playing in a number of positions. He is determined to become even better.

      "Joao Cancelo is very good at going forward and attacking space down the wings, but he's young and still has room to develop his game, especially in the defensive phase.

      "Cristiano Ronaldo trains very competitively, he takes nothing for granted and is a champion, buiding his own success over the years through hard work and sacrifice. He is a great example for the younger players and he raises our overall quality.

      "With both Ronaldo and Paulo Dybala, we now have two designated penalty-takers this season. However, the problem is more about who takes free-kicks, as we now have around 6-7 players who will be standing around the ball!

      "Ronaldo is bringing a great enthusiasm to Italian football, I see all the people that are waiting outside the Continassa, but regardless of the excitement, we still have to win games. We haven’t won anything just by signing him, so we have to show that on the pitch."


      "After today's training, I will have a better idea regarding who exactly will line up tomorrow night. 

      "Ronaldo is set to play tomorrow, but it's important to bear in mind that our forwards are the players who have had the least amount of pre-season training, so they all need to be managed with care. Tomorrow there will be better link-up play between our midfielders and forwards, which will undoubtedly benefit Cristiano.

      "Both Dybala and Mario Mandzukic could play together with Ronaldo, but it’s not a question of whether one or two of them plays with Ronaldo, it’s about the characteristics of the rest of the team and how we set ourselves up.

      "We have to play with intensity and desire tomorrow night but, above all else, we have to play with respect."

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