Massimiliano Allegri says Juventus will have to be on their toes against an “in-form” Cesena side when the reigning champions host the Serie A newcomers tomorrow night in Turin.
Last Saturday’s impressive win and performance in Milan restored the Bianconeri to the top of the league but the manager warned there will be no easy pickings to be had against a well-drilled outfit who have enjoyed a promising return to the top flight.
Previewing the game in Vinovo, the 47-year-old began: “Cesena are an aggressive side in good form who keep it tight at the back. They have only conceded nine corners in three matches and are very sound defensively.
“Leagues are won by collecting points in these games, because it’s the only way of finding yourselves in a position of strength when approaching encounters with direct rivals.”
With the fixtures now starting to come thick and fast for the Bianconeri, Allegri was asked if he had considered freshening things up by making wholesale changes for the visit of the Cavallucci Marini.
It is a notion he refuses to entertain, believing talk of rotation to be somewhat premature at this early stage of the Serie A campaign.
“You can’t change six or seven in one swoop. We’re just at the start of the season and the players aren’t in need of a breather.When you have 20 reliable names it’s more about technical choices made on the basis of the game you’re playing. I choose the best team available to me thinking about one game at a time.”
One possible change, however, could be the inclusion of Patrice Evra, who Allegri tipped to return to the fold after sitting out Saturday’s success at the San Siro.
There were also updates on the respective conditions of Arturo Vidal and Alvaro Morata, whose game time will continue to be managed accordingly as they bid to return to peak match fitness.
“Evra played well against Udinese and is fitting in well. I’m very happy with what he’s shown me and he could play tomorrow. Vidal's been alongside the group for three to four days and still isn’t 100 per cent, but at the same time needs minutes under his belt.
“I’d also like to see Morata play 90 minutes because he’s got plenty of quality to offer, but let’s not forget that he linked up with the team for Udinese after almost a month on the sidelines. We need to ease him in gradually.”
Allegri moved on to dampen talk of a repeat of last year’s head-to-head title tussle by reiterating his belief that there will be more runners and riders in this season’s race for Scudetto silverware.
He concluded: “It’s too early to speak about a two-horse race, there are still plenty of points up for grabs. Inter, Milan, Napoli, Lazio and Fiorentina are all in with a shout. The league’s much closer this season, and we’ll need to keep a good physical condition for every game and competition we face.”