Juventus
    Juventus
      28.01.2017 15:00 - in: Serie A S

      Allegri: “A test of our mettle”

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      Massimiliano Allegri warns of a tough afternoon against Sassuolo: “A test of our quality and mental strength”

      Building momentum

      “Winning the league is all about winning momentum. We picked up two very important wins in our last two games playing this new system. That said, we were in fine form beforehand, all that’s changed is our approach, not the results.

      “Juventus have drawn and then lost in the past two trips to face Sassuolo so now it’s time to go there and leave with three points. Strange as it may seem, Lazio and Milan were more straightforward fixtures than this one will be: it’s easier to play with intensity immediately after a defeat or against a rival.

      “Every game will be a challenge from now until the end of the season: winning the Scudetto and the Coppa Italia and going all the way in the Champions League means raising our game and continuing to better ourselves as the stakes begin to rise.

      “Credit to the players for the way they have dealt with business recently – the Rossoneri had beaten us twice in a row so it was important to bounce back the way we did.”

      Sassuolo 

      “Tomorrow will be a true test of our mettle both in terms of the quality of our play and where we stand with this new shape and our mental strength.

      “Sassuolo are on the up and welcoming back some key players after injury. We must not assume that we will win at a canter tomorrow, however much faith I have in the players to deliver when it matters.”

      A shift in system 

      “Playing with more bodies in the final third allows us to optimize the space and be more incisive in attack. I think a change like this was necessary at this stage of the season to freshen things up a bit.

      "The system works only if every individual is willing to sacrifice themselves for the team and do their part defensively as well."

      Team news

      “Marchisio is made for this kind of formation even if it is unlikely he will feature for us on Sunday. Dani Alves and Alex Sandro have made good recoveries and it’s a toss up between Pjanic and Cuadrado and Rincon and Khedira in the midfield positions.

      “Higuain will deliver whatever is going on around him, likewise Pjanic. He can play anywhere in the middle and this change of shape has only added a little extra tracking back to his workload. Besides that, he still has the freedom to do what he does best."

      Evergreen Buffon

      “I wished Gianluigi a happy birthday today and told him to think that age is just a number. His strength has always been his enthusiasm. If he carries on like this, who says he has to retire after the World Cup in 2018…?” 

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