Massimiliano Allegri says his men will be fired up to get their Coppa Italia campaign off on the right footing when they run out in front of a full house at Juventus Stadium for Thursday night’s last 16 visit of Hellas Verona.
The boss revealed the domestic cup competition is one of the aims for the current campaign and believes there will be no question of taking it lightly as the Bianconeri look to win the competition for the first time in 20 years.
Speaking to the media on the eve of the game, the 47-year-old began: “The Coppa Italia is one of our targets for the season and we need to do everything we can to go all the way. We’ll be playing in front of a capacity crowd, so there won’t be any problems as far as motivation’s concerned.”
With three separate competitions to juggle as the season moves towards its midway stage, Allegri will hand several fringe players the chance to shine tomorrow night whilst affording the likes of Andrea Pirlo and Carlos Tevez a breather.
He claims he does not envisage any issues with those who get the nod, reiterating his full belief in the players’ ability to come away with the right result.
“Pirlo and Tevez will be rested and aren’t even in the squad. They need to recharge their batteries and will undergo a specific workout in Vinovo. I’ve got four strikers available to me, two will play in the first half and the other two after the break. Storari will start in goal.
“I’ve got plenty of confidence in those who play less. It won’t be a test for them tomorrow, they just need to put in a great performance and get through to the next round. They’ve got the opportunity to give me a selection headache, these guys are important for the end of the season when there are games to be won and the so-called ‘starters’ perhaps aren’t involved.”
Allegri confirmed that supporters will still have to wait for the returns of Andrea Barzagli and Luca Marrone from their respective ailments, although there was good news regarding the former’s progress along the road to recovery.
“We don’t know how long Barzagli’s got to go until he’s fully match fit, but he’s coming on well and worked a bit with the team this morning, participating in some of the practice match. We’re happy with the situation and hope to have him back as soon as possible. Marrone has had the flu and is training but won’t be involved tomorrow.”
With just over two weeks remaining of the transfer window, the Tuscan tactician responded to the inevitable question on the transfer market by reiterating the club’s firm stance against panic buying.
He concluded: “We need a couple of players in to boost our numbers, but they need to be capable of making a contribution. We’re not going to be buying players just for the sake of it, also because we have youngsters who can come in and help out if need be.”