AC Milan coach Massimiliano Allegri is wary of opponents Palermo ahead of their Coppa Italia semi-final first leg at the San Siro on Wednesday.Palermo are in eighth place in Serie A, and enjoyed a 3-2 win over Roma at the Stadio Olimpico on Saturday.
And Allegri is convinced his side – who top the Serie A standings by six points from second-placed Napoli – will not have an easy time against Delio Rossi’s side.
“I think that Palermo is a team made up of great players,” Allegri said.
“They are young guys, who will be doing their best since their main aim is to qualify for the final because it would automatically qualify them for the Europa League.”
“Their team have great individual quality and is one of the best teams of the Italian championship.”
“They were ranked fourth until a month and a half ago and it seemed that Palermo would have been able to battle for the league.”
“I believe that a team can’t change and become weaker when they have a lot of talent. I believe that Palermo is made of very skilful players, they have proved it in the last few matches and confirmed it in Saturday’s match when they beat Roma.”
Palermo coach Rossi said he did not think Milan would miss their injured Brazilian striker Alexandre Pato, who has been ruled out for three weeks with a hamstring strain.
With Swedish striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic available for the Cup clash despite being suspended for two more league games, Rossi said there was not much to choose between the two front men and insisted Milan had plenty of depth to cover the loss.
“I’d like for us to put in a great performance irrelevant of how they play,” Rossi said. “They are both outstanding players.”
“Of course it would be better if neither of them were playing, but in any case I hope we’ll put in a good performance.”
“If the two of them don’t play, then Robinho will be playing; if Robinho won’t be playing, then Boateng will be playing; if Boateng isn’t playing, then Pirlo will be there – it makes no difference.”
“I think they’ll be playing with their best formation and we hope we’ll be up to the situation.”
The winner of the tie will take on either Inter Milan or Roma in the final.