Juventus will take on AC Milan away at the San Siro tomorrow. Their hosts are currently third in the table, five points behind the Bianconeri after a series of encouraging performances under Vincenzo Montella. Milan have won four of their last six, with one draw and one loss.
After nine consecutive wins for Juve over Milan, manager Massimiliano Allegri was asked if tomorrow would be a more balanced game -
"First I have to congratulate Milan because they are having a great season, with the young players – who will certainly be the future of the Italian national team – playing really well.
"Now, led by a great coach, they must grow. I am not envious of this, instead I'm happy because in the end the Italian football is giving more chances to young players.
"There are some at Juventus too, maybe tomorrow there will be a place for Moise Kean, you never know!
"What this really means is that in Italy there are good [young] players, this is important for Italian football and for the future of the national team.
"Tomorrow, like Milan-Juventus and so many other great matches, will always be balanced. We went to Milan to take on Inter as clear favourites but took a heavy blow.
"We will find a team that has great enthusiasm, they are young, strong and have good technique. So I would say tomorrow to get a result we have to make a major improvement, with our head, but especially with great competitiveness and ability."
This is always a big match, any thoughts on that -
"Milan vs Juventus is always a massive match. They’re doing well this season with plenty of young, talented players who run, cover a lot of ground, possess good technique and are growing all the time under the guidance of an excellent coach in Vincenzo Montella.
"We know that they’re dangerous on the counter-attack with the likes of M’Baye Niang and Suso down the wings and that’s something we need to be prepared for. Furthermore, in Carlos Bacca they’ve a striker who’s very good at exploiting any space afforded to him in the final third.
"No doubt about it, tomorrow’s will be a tough contest. We’ll need to stand strong and play well technically too."
The sale of Milan is expected to be completed on November 20th, and this could Allegri’s last encounter with former employer and the club President Silvio Berlusconi -
"I'm sad about this because Berlusconi has made the history of Milan for 30 years, winning everything.
"I am bound to him and [Adriano] Galliani emotionally after we spent four years together, just as I’ll be to Juve executives, Andrea Agnelli, Beppe Marotta and Fabio Paratici when I leave here.
"It is sad but the world is changing, there is a total globalisation, the only team in the world that has the same owner for 100 years is Juventus."
He was then asked about goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon and his outstanding performance at Lyon -
"It's normal that experience makes it easier to win, especially with great players it is easier to win games. Buffon’s performance in Lyon was as if he had scored three goals, but the same happened last year during the season and the same as he’s been doing for 20 years.
"So I think that the matter should be closed, as Buffon has already proven his ability in those years and confirmed it in the last game after the criticism that has been made."
On the fitness situation at Juve -
"Of all the players recovering from injury, Mario Mandzukic is the only one who might feature tomorrow night.
"Giorgio Chiellini is on the cusp of a return, but won’t be ready until Wednesday and our game against Sampdoria.
"Marko Pjaca isn’t available tomorrow either. Claudio Marchisio will be called up to the squad, having played for 60 minutes in Wednesday’s warm-up friendly against Fossano.
"Meanwhile, Daniele Rugani trained yesterday and we’re continuing to monitor his condition closely."
Finally, who will play tomorrow -
"Tomorrow in defence I’ll go with Medhi Benatia, Andrea Barzagli, Leonardo Bonucci and Patrice Evra.
"Stephan Lichtsteiner played well against Udinese and Dani Alves likewise in the second half at Lyon, especially when we shifted to a back four, pushing Juan Cuadrado further forwards.
"Juan would normally deserve to be starting matches, but at this moment in time I need players with his skillset to make an impact off the bench, because he’s the only one with his characteristics apart from Pjaca, who is out injured.
"Up front, Gonzalo Higuain and Paulo Dybala are working well together, but let’s not forget that Mandzukic has also played some good games and I hope he’ll also be available for selection tomorrow as he’s an important player for us this season.
"Pjaca too will be a big plus for us when he returns. Tomorrow there might be an opportunity for Moise Kean to play a part of the match against Milan."