Allegri: Crunch time for AC Milan

BY foxsports • October 15, 2011

AC Milan coach Massimiliano Allegri has declared Saturday's home clash against Palermo as must-win for his side.

The defending champion have had a slow start to the season, collecting just five points in five games.

As a result, the Rossoneri is 15th in the standings, six points behind joint-Serie A leaders Juventus and Udinese.

It has been 21 years since a reigning champion has had such a poor beginning to the campaign and Allegri expects his side to turn things around starting on Saturday.

"This is a very important game for us," he said.

"It's one that we have to face in the best possible manner. We also have to win because we've only done so once this season. We have to get three points and in order to do so we need focus, aggressiveness and courage."

Allegri expects a vast improvement with regard to his team's display in its 2-0 loss at Juventus before the international break.

"We got the game wrong at Juve," he said.

"The Bianconeri played well, whereas we didn't and we must play better if we are to beat Palermo.

"Palermo are an aggressive side, they are playing well and have a very enthusiastic coach."

Under coach Devis Mangia, Palermo has won three of its opening five league games.

The Sicilians beat Siena 2-0 last time out to climb to fourth in the standings.

"We cannot look at the table because if we compare our current position with that of Milan, we will only complicate our lives," Mangia said.

"We cannot forget that Milan are the defending champions and that they have great players.

"We will try to test them and have the right approach to the game."

Palermo are hoping veteran striker Fabrizio Miccoli recovers in time for Saturday's game at the San Siro.

Miccoli, who is the team's top scorer with three goals, is doubtful with a muscular injury.

Milan will be bolstered by the return of winger Robinho and defender Philippe Mexes from injury, with the latter set to make his long-awaited debut.

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