Massimiliano Allegri believes this evening’s friendly against Lechia Gdansk will serve as a useful yardstick by which to measure the Bianconeri’s pre-season progress ahead of next Saturday’s Super Cup final clash with Lazio in Shanghai.
The Polish side, who finished fifth in the Ekstraklasa last time out, began their championship campaign a fortnight ago and with a full close season’s preparation already under their belts, will represent a decent workout for the reigning champions of Italy.
Speaking to the media in Gdansk, Allegri began: “It’s an honour to be here in this wonderful city for a good test against a side who have already played two league matches this season. It’s an important one for our build-up to the Super Cup final, which is our first target of the season.”
While the Super Cup final remains the Bianconeri’s first main hurdle to overcome of the 2015/16 term, the Tuscan coach says the club’s date with history is one that he has his sights firmly fixed on.
“As far as the whole campaign is concerned, the Scudetto remains our primary goal. Lifting it would see us go down in history by winning five consecutive titles, a feat only Juventus in the 1930s and the Grande Torino side have managed to achieve.
“It won’t be easy because we have some well-equipped rivals in the two Milan sides, Roma, Lazio and Napoli. It will be a closely contested championship this year.”
With Andrea Barzagli ruled out until mid-August, Allegri revealed he will grant birthday boy and summer acquisition Daniele Rugani the chance to shine at the PGE Arena.
“Rugani will start. He’s a young, talented player but needs time to settle in and adapt. I will hand game time to all those available to me in order to improve our overall shape ahead of the Super Cup. It’s a pity that Barzagli has to miss out on the final, he’s picked up an injury that will keep him out for 15 to 20 days.”