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Allegri to explore Milan options against Ajax

Published: Tuesday 7 December 2010, 21.45CET
With AC Milan coach Massimiliano Allegri set to shuffle his pack, AFC Ajax can be optimistic at San Siro although Monday's departure of Martin Jol has upset the Dutch side's preparations.
Published: Tuesday 7 December 2010, 21.45CET

Allegri to explore Milan options against Ajax

With AC Milan coach Massimiliano Allegri set to shuffle his pack, AFC Ajax can be optimistic at San Siro although Monday's departure of Martin Jol has upset the Dutch side's preparations.

Massimiliano Allegri will take the opportunity to make changes when AFC Ajax come to San Siro as the AC Milan coach looks beyond the Dutch side's visit to the challenges ahead. The visitors will make sure of third position in Group G, and a UEFA Europa League place, with a win although their preparations have been disrupted by the departure of coach Martin Jol on Monday night, with his replacement Frank de Boer eager to "bring the joy back" to his side.

Massimiliano Allegri, Milan coach
It's an important game for us. It's the Champions League and it's in matches like this that the real worth of a team comes out; that'll help me take my decisions in the future. It is not a vital game, that's true, but we have to give our best because victories give you confidence and confidence helps you win again.

Ronaldinho did not train with his team-mates yesterday, but if he is available he will play up front with Robinho, while [Zlatan] Ibrahimović will definitely sit on the bench. [Gennaro] Gattuso and [Gianluca] Zambrotta will also have a rest; I already rested some players against Brescia, like [Clarence] Seedorf, because there will be many games over the next few months and we will need everybody. We are on the right track but there's still a lot to do. A few other teams probably have a better chance than us, but you also need a bit of luck to win the Champions League, especially in the knockout rounds. I think Milan can go all the way.

Frank de Boer, Ajax caretaker coach
I knew that one day I would become coach. They asked me if I was ready, and I said yes. There are people around me who can help and this gives me confidence. I think I'm ready because I have been assistant coach for two and a half years.

Ajax is what matters. I want to bring the joy back; the players must be happy to play. When it comes to playing football, movement on the field and attacking, I am close to Johan Cruyff's philosophy. I like the 4-3-3 formation; I know you need the right players for that, but if you want to find them, then you will.

I don't want to change too much to begin with, but I have my own ideas and I want to leave my mark on the team in the future.

Team news
Milan
An ankle injury meant Ronaldinho missed training on Monday although the Brazilian is likely to be available. Andrea Pirlo returned from a thigh injury at the weekend, while Luca Antonini (muscular problems) was an unused substitute. Filippo Inzaghi (cruciate ligament), Pato (thigh) are both sidelined, while Massimo Oddo (thigh) was ruled out for four to six weeks in late October.

Ajax
Teemu Tainio and Thimothée Atouba missed Saturday's NEC Nijmegen game with toe injuries, while Oleguer was an unused substitute having been out since mid-November with a leg muscle problem. Florian Jozefzoon (knee), Nicolás Lodeiro (foot), Evander Sno (heart problem) and Kenneth Vermeer (Achilles) are all long-term absentees.

Weekend results
04/12/10 Milan 3-0 Brescia Calcio
(Boateng 4, Robinho 28, Ibrahimović 30)
Massimiliano Allegri's team claimed their ninth win in 11 league games. Boateng struck his first goal for Milan; Ibrahimović took his tally to seven in his last ten games.

04/12/10 Ajax 1-1 NEC Nijmegen
(Mido 76; Nuytinck 78)
Mido scored his third goal in his last four appearances in all competitions. Ajax have won just two of their last eight fixtures, losing four.

Did you know?
Milan have won just one of their last eight fixtures at San Siro in UEFA competition going back to December 2008. Their only success was September's 2-0 home defeat of AJ Auxerre. Ajax are seeking their first away win in Europe this season after draws at PAOK FC and FC Dynamo Kyiv in the qualifying rounds and defeats at Real Madrid CF and Auxerre.

See the match background for more information.

Last updated: 26/09/14 6.48CET

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http://www.uefa.com/uefachampionsleague/season=2011/matches/round=2000118/match=2002902/prematch/preview/index.html#allegri+explore+milan+options+against+ajax

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