Massimiliano Allegri has urged Juventus to keep turning up the heat and remain focused on the task at hand as the Serie A race edges into its final nine games.
A trip to basement club Parma is the latest on the Bianconeri’s busy agenda and, despite the Gialloblu’s difficulties suffered throughout the course of a testing campaign and the 57 points separating both sides in the league, the boss remains convinced Roberto Donadoni’s outfit will give his men a run for their money.
Previewing the encounter in Vinovo, the 47-year-old began: “A win at the Tardini would bring us another piece of the Scudetto, taking us closer to our target with eight games remaining. So that’s all we’ll be considering for the time being. Monaco will only come into our thoughts on Sunday morning.
“A strong performance will be required this weekend though, because Parma approach the game on the back of some good displays and are in decent physical condition. Credit to Donadoni and all of his players for the dignity and professionalism they’ve displayed during a difficult season.”
Juventus go into the game riding on the crest of a wave following Tuesday’s sensational Coppa Italia triumph over Fiorentina, a historic achievement Allegri says nobody could have foreseen.
“It was an important game, played with great technique and the desire to overturn the scoreline. Coming out on top after losing the home leg had never happened in the club’s history before, neither in Italy nor in Europe. The lads pulled off an achievement nobody ever believed could be accomplished.”
After withdrawing him from the first-team squad for the Coppa Italia semi-final return leg tie as a precautionary measure, Allegri confirmed that Carlos Tevez will return to the fold for this weekend’s trip to the Tardini.
Missing out, though, are Andrea Pirlo and Andrea Barzagli, with the former likely to win his race to be fit in time for Tuesday’s Champions League quarter-final first leg against Monaco.
Allegri added: “Carlos is in good shape and available. Pirlo’s still not quite there yet, but is likely to be involved on Tuesday, and Barzagli will also be out tomorrow, having been granted a period of rest.
“After being out for eight months and playing five intense games the odd ailment is inevitable. What’s important is being able to manage these situations without risking injury.”