AC Milan coach Massimiliano Allegri says the matchday one draw with FC Barcelona will mean little if the Italian champions fail to build on it against Czech minnows FC Viktoria Plzeň.
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AC Milan coach Massimiliano Allegri suggested the Italian title holders' matchday one draw at FC Barcelona will mean little if they fail to build on it when FC Viktoria Plzeň come calling. Buoyed after a first win of the season at the weekend, he warned that a second is far from assured against the side coached by Pavel Vrba, who indicated that he has been doing his homework on the Rossoneri.
Coach Massimiliano Allegri
It won't be easy. We have watched Viktoria's play-off games and they are a well-organised team, with quality players on the counterattack. We should be wary at the back and can't afford to underestimate them; nothing in football is simple these days. It's a Champions League match against a team that performed well in the play-offs [defeating Rosenborg BK] and that has good quality.
We have to win if we want to build on the point earned in Barcelona. We have a chance to finish top and the next three games will be crucial to that, accruing points and making sure we then win the head to head [against Barcelona]. But, for the time being, we have to focus on Viktoria Plzeň. It will not be an easy match, but we are fully motivated. Saturday's victory has brought confidence.
Saturday: Milan 1-0 AC Cesena (Seedorf 5)
Abbiati; Abate, Yepes, Thiago Silva, Taiwo (Zambrotta 52); Van Bommel, Seedorf, Nocerino, Emanuelson; El Shaarawy (Aquilani 66), Cassano (Inzaghi 82)
• Clarence Seedorf's early goal earned Milan their first victory of their title defence. The 35-year-old has now scored in each of his 14 seasons in Italian football.
Gennaro Gattuso is suspended; Robinho (toe), Pato (thigh), Kevin-Prince Boateng (hip) and Philippe Mexès (knee) are all out. Allegri is hopeful Zlatan Ibrahimović (thigh) and Daniele Bonera (bruised rib) will be available.
Coach Pavel Vrba
My first impression of this stadium is a great one. It's wonderful − back home we don't have anything like it. We have to prepare, be humble and face it in the best way we can. I hope this chance to play in the UEFA Champions League will contribute to the development of Czech football.
I've watched four of Milan's games, against Napoli and Udinese in particular, and I have garnered some ideas and inspiration. Naturally, we don't underestimate anyone. This is an important moment in our season. I'm sure Clarence Seedorf will be important for Milan; he's a great player in an excellent team. This game will have an important influence on my players, especially their futures. It will be a great occasion for them.
Friday: SK Dynamo České Budějovice 0-0 Viktoria Plzeň
Čech; Rajtoral, Čišovský, Bystroň, Limberský; Petržela (Hora 87), Horváth, Jiráček, Kolář, Pilař (Darida 71); Bakoš (Ďuriš 63)
• This was Plzeň's first goalless draw in 42 league outings, since being held, also by České Budějovice, on 24 April 2010.
Goalkeeper Roman Pavlík is still to return after injuring his knee against Rosenborg on 27 July.
Plzeň's most experienced European campaigner, Pavel Horváth, will be making his fourth visit to Italy for a European tie and has yet to avoid defeat.