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Dec 10, 2013

Allegri: Milan must eliminate Ajax

AC Milan coach Massimiliano Allegri says he has full confidence in his players as they prepare for their crunch Champions League clash with Ajax on Wednesday.

Massimiliano Allegri is under pressure to see Milan through to the knockout stages.
Massimiliano Allegri is under pressure to see Milan through to the knockout stages.

Paul: Decisive clash with Ajax
Johnson: UCL permutations

Milan face Ajax at the San Siro needing only a draw to reach the knockout stage, but defeat would see the Rossoneri eliminated and -- given their Serie A form -- could spell the end for Allegri.

Nonetheless, he said they must remain calm as they seek a positive result.

"I've got lots of faith in my lads," Allegri said at a news conference in Milan on Tuesday. "Sadly we've not got the results we deserved in the league, but the Champions League and Serie A cannot be compared.

"It's an important game and we've got to knock Ajax out. They're playing very well and are in great form. They play good football, but we're at home and we've got to try to beat them. We've got to be serene, careful and focused, and I'm certain the lads won't get their approach wrong."

Allegri insists he has no intention of playing for a draw against the Dutch champions.

"Teams in the Champions League always play to win," Allegri added. "We never take to the field aiming for a draw in the league either -- we always play to win. Tomorrow night, we're expecting a helping hand from the fans. They can help us play in this competition again in March."

Allegri is without Ignazio Abate but has every faith in Italy international Mattia De Sciglio, who will replace him as full-back.

"Mattia has a great future at Milan and in world football because he's a great lad with a will to learn," Allegri said. "Technically, physically and tactically, he's got all it takes to become one of the best full-backs in the world."

Robinho is unavailable due to a shoulder injury, but Sulley Muntari is back in the squad, while Alessandro Matri is expected to have recovered from a virus. Should the swelling on Urby Emanuelson's foot not subside, Kevin Constant will take his place.

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