AC Milan will be 'angry opponents' after flight delay - Juve coach Allegri
Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri says AC Milan's 24-hour delay in reaching Doha for Friday night's Supercoppa will only make them harder to beat.
Milan had to hastily rearrange plans to get to Qatar after the charter flight they had booked was stuck in London due to a technical fault. They arrived in Doha a day after Juve as a result and their general manager Adriano Galliani suggested this had given the Bianconeri an unfair advantage.
Allegri does not believe that will be the case, however, claiming instead that Milan will be even more determined to win on Friday night to prove a point.
"It's not going to be easy because all this story about their delay has taken some responsibility away from them and we are therefore going to find angry opponents," ex-Milan boss Allegri said at a news conference. "It means that Juventus have now been made out to be clear favourites and this means they no longer have any obligation [to win] but more desire.
"We've no advantage at all for arriving here a day earlier than Milan. Everyone will be talking about that before and after the match, but we just need to stay focused on what we need to do. Our preparations are going well, even if it should be noted that it's never easy going into the final match before the Christmas break.
"That's also the case for the first game back after the festive period, which this time around is against Bologna on Jan. 8. Along with the first match of the season, these three fixtures are the hardest and we'll need to work that bit more to make sure we're in the right state of mind."
Revenge will also be on Juve's mind after they lost out to Milan in their Serie A meeting earlier this season, but Allegri has warned that his side will need to be at their sharpest to ensure they do not suffer a similar fate again.
"Everyone is in good shape at present and we know just how important this match is," he said. "Coming off the back of a great run of results, we need to be careful that we don't fall foul of complacency on the night.
"This should not happen because at stake there's the first trophy of the season, which is one of three key objectives we set ourselves for the first half of this campaign.
"The boys have done very well in achieving the other two, namely to end the year top of the table and to reach the last 16 of the Champions League as group winners. Now we need to ensure we clear the final of these three hurdles."
Ben Gladwell reports on Serie A, the Italian national team and the Bundesliga for ESPN FC, UEFA and the Press Association. @UEFAcomBenG.