Serie A

Allegri, Milan under pressure at Genoa

Massimiliano Allegri, AC Milan
AC Milan's Massimiliano Allegri has come under pressure to quit ahead of the meeting with...
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Under-fire AC Milan coach Massimiliano Allegri has denied he will quit ahead of Saturday's Serie A clash against Genoa.

Allegri's side lost 1-0 to Malaga in the Champions League on Wednesday night, and with only seven points from eight games leaving them 15th in Serie A, the pressure for him to leave continues to grow.

A weekend meeting with Genoa looks set to be crucial in determining whether the 45-year-old has what it takes to turn things around for Milan, who he led to the title in 2011.

"Leaving? No, this is not part of my character," he said. "The team will bounce back after the performance, we've done that in the past and I can be confident (we will again).

"The team needs results and that's what brings enthusiasm and confidence. That's why we can't make any mistakes on Saturday.

"If we can get out of this delicate and difficult situation we'll do so having become stronger.

"We all want to get out of it all together and if we do that we'll be able to have a decent season.

"Now we just have to focus on winning against Genoa (this Saturday)."

Meanwhile, Napoli coach Walter Mazzarri believes his side, currently second behind Juventus in the Serie A standings, have what it takes to win the title this season.

They are preparing to face Chievo on Sunday after a Europa League matchup with Dnipro.

"The Championship is long and we will have many important matches to play," Mazzarri told the club's official website.

"In eight matches we have six wins, a draw and a defeat against the top-ranked side. Let's not lose perspective.

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"We are second in the standings with only one more goal scored against us compared to Juve.

"I wish we could have six victories each cycle of eight matches."

Juventus return to league action against Catania on Sunday fresh from a frustrating 1-1 draw against Danish side FC Nordsjaelland in the Champions League.

In the wake of that disappointment, which Juve goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon said had made him "angry", the agent of on-loan Arsenal striker Nicklas Bendtner said the forward could be set to leave the club in January after receiving limited opportunities.

Bendtner made an appearance off the bench as Juve searched for a vital winner, but despite this his agent Tom Brooks revealed his lack of chances could lead him elsewhere.

"The boy is happy at Juventus, even if clearly he would like to play more. Why isn't he playing?," Brooks told website Tuttomercatoweb.

"Nicklas has patience and respects the club, his teammates and the decisions of the coach, however, he is too strong a player to stay on the bench.

"If it continues like this, we will consider our options. Could that be from January? We'll talk about it over the next few weeks."

Elsewhere, third-placed Lazio, who return to Serie A action after a Europa League clash against Panathinaikos, will be looking to close the gap on the leaders with a win over Fiorentina.

Siena play Palermo on Saturday while Sunday sees Bologna host Inter Milan, Sampdoria take on Cagliari and Parma travel to Torino.

In the other games, Pescara will look to climb out of the bottom three with a win at home to Atalanta while Roma take on Udinese.

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