Massimiliano Allegri says the Bianconeri will have to be at their very best if they are to claim all three points from tomorrow night’s Serie A meeting with fellow Scudetto contenders Roma at the Stadio Olimpico.
With fresh faces in their ranks and revenge in their sights following last season’s second-placed finish, the Tuscan tactician is warning Juventus to be on their guard against a new-look Giallorossi with a point to prove.
Previewing the clash in Vinovo, Allegri began: “Roma are an excellent side and, alongside us and Inter, one of the favourites for the title. It’s likely they’ll come out all guns blazing after finishing behind us last season, so we need to play with the right intensity and be confident in our qualities.”
The visitors, however, have recent arrivals of their own and Allegri confirmed that one of these - Paulo Dybala - will be handed his first Serie A start in the black and white stripes.
“Dybala will play, Morata’s back and Padoin will figure in front of the defence. Simone is the only player capable of operating in that role, putting anyone else there would be a risk. I thought he had a good game last Sunday against Udinese, as did the rest of the team. Cuadrado will be on the bench.”
Last weekend’s defeat to Udinese means the Bianconeri will be looking to get this season’s first points on the board at the Stadio Olimpico, a venue where they have registered 25 previous Serie A victories against Roma.
And despite expressing his disappointment at failing to get off to a winning start, Allegri insists he and his team remain fully focused on the bigger picture.
“We played well last weekend against Udinese, bossing possession and getting plenty of shots in on goal, but we lost – that’s football for you. After the international break, when the players involved return to the training ground, we’ll knuckle down again and work towards achieving the targets that are in our DNA.
“Our aim is to win the league, defend the Coppa Italia and go as far as we can in the Champions League. It’s a tough group we’re in, but not impossible. There’s every chance of us reaching the knockout stages.”
Achieving these goals will require the best squad possible and further movement is expected in the transfer market before the window closes on 1 September.
When asked about potential deals, Allegri revealed that Kingsley Coman and Mauricio Isla will be leaving the club in the coming days before pouring cold water on speculation linking Simone Zaza with a move away from Turin.
“Coman is on his way and has asked to leave. I’ve picked him for our first two games, but he’s decided his future lies elsewhere. Isla is also departing and has a few options available to him.
“Zaza will stay here, he just needs to settle in and develop. He’s a fine player and the Italian international centre-forward. He’s got good qualities and just needs a bit of time.”