Massimiliano Allegri says Juventus will be aiming to take one step further to achieving a seasonal target when Fiorentina travel to Turin for tomorrow’s Coppa Italia semi-final first leg.
Certain sections of the media have been tipping the Tuscan tactician to make wholesale changes for Thursday’s cup tie, but Allegri insists an important game against an in-form Viola side will not be taken lightly.
Previewing the encounter in Vinovo, the 47-year-old began: “It’s our duty to try and go all the way in the Coppa Italia. It’s a target of ours and one we haven’t achieved for 20 years.
“Tomorrow I’ll be picking what I deem to be the best starting line-up for the game. Fiorentina are one of the league’s in-form sides and Montella’s teams always play decent football.”
Refreshed after being rested as a precaution against Roma, Paul Pogba is a confirmed name on the team sheet for the reigning Serie A champions, while Andrea Barzagli could be in line to make his first appearance of the season tomorrow night.
“I didn’t want to risk Pogba for Roma and he will start. Sturaro will be on the bench. Barzagli’s a lot better but has played just two friendly games in eight months. I’ll need to check on him today and we’ll come to a decision together regarding tomorrow’s match.”
Following a disappointing conclusion to an overall strong display in the capital, Allegri is calling on his men to take heed of the mistakes made and hopes they will serve as an important lesson for the future.
“I think we put in a decent performance and read the game well for 70 minutes, shutting Roma out and creating dangerous situations.
“Then, five minutes after their goal, we switched off and it’s difficult to get back into the game once that happens. These 20 minutes need to show us that there’s still room for improvement and no match is ever finished.
“Nobody’s going to gift us anything. Until the mathematics state otherwise, the league is always open. We must do better.”