06.08.2015 15:15 - in: Super Cup S

    Allegri and Buffon ready for Super Cup final

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    The Juventus duo are looking forward to the team’s first shot at silverware this season

    Massimiliano Allegri and Gigi Buffon say the Bianconeri are ready and raring to go for Saturday night’s Italian Super Cup showdown at the Shanghai Stadium.

    The boss is predicting a close encounter against Lazio and believes the team will have to be on their toes if they are to add to the club’s six triumphs in the competition to date.

    Speaking to the media in China, Allegri began: “It’s our first target of the season and a good performance will be required. We know that it will be an even contest and one that could even last 120 minutes like the Coppa Italia final did.”

    Injuries to Giorgio Chiellini, Sami Khedira and Alvaro Morata in the build-up mean the Tuscan tactician will have to plan for this weekend’s game without the services of three experienced players. 

    But with the return of Andrea Barzagli to full training and a variety of interesting options available to him in attack, he remains confident Juventus have the means with which to get the job done.

    “Injuries crop up at moments of every season and it’s a pity that Chiellini, Khedira and Morata will miss out on Saturday’s game, but this is part and parcel of football. Last year we began with Barzagli and Caceres as long-term casualties and Asamoah missed out on almost the entire campaign.

    “Barzagli is back and will train with the team today. I still haven’t decided which system to go for, but regardless I’ve got plenty of choice up front.

    "We possess talented youngsters in the form of Dybala, Zaza and Coman, with an element of international experience in Mandzukic and then there’s Llorente, who last year made decisive contributions and has always weighed in with decent displays.”

    One player guaranteed a spot in Saturday night’s starting line-up is Paul Pogba, who will wear the number 10 shirt for the very first time following today’s announcement on the club’s official Twitter account.

    “Paul asked for the number 10 shirt and now he will have even more responsibility, because wearing that shirt isn’t simple, given that it’s previously been donned by the greatest Juventus players.”

    The Frenchman’s influence in the middle of the park will be a crucial component of this year’s new-look Juventus, which Buffon is confident will prove its worth over time.

    The captain added: “Freshening up the squad could also represent an added motivation for us. A bit of time will be required to get into the groove, but there isn’t a great deal of difference from a technical point of view, because we’ve brought in players of considerable quality.”

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