Juventus
    30.11.2017 13:00 - in: Serie A S

    Allegri: “Fascinating night of football in store”

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    Juventus manager, Massimiliano Allegri, previews Friday night’s eagerly awaited Serie A match away to Napoli

    LEAGUE SEASON A MARATHON, NOT A SPRINT

    “Tomorrow will be a fascinating match and it ought to be a great night of football. Our approach must be spot on. It’s a very important test for us, but not decisive.

    “Napoli are ahead of us in the table and favourites for the Scudetto, but we must stay strong and remain within touching distance of them before striking at the crucial moment around March.

    “It’s important to remember that just a few days after the Napoli match, we take on Olympiacos in Athens, where we need to reach our first target of the campaign: qualifying for the Champions League round of 16.”

    NAPOLI’S EXTRAORDINARY SERIE A FORM 

    “So far Juventus have virtually the same number of points as this stage last season, but Napoli are quite simply doing extraordinary things in the league as they’ve won 12 and drawn only two of their 14 matches so far.

    “While it’s true that we’ve dropped a few points, we need to take our hats off to Napoli for the way they’ve been going. Everyone knows about their attractive style of play: over the last three years, they’ve been entertaining all football fans, myself included."

    JUVENTUS SQUAD SELECTION 

    “Stephan Lichtsteiner is out of tomorrow’s match. Juan Cuadrado and Federico Bernardeschi have been training lightly and should be available.

    “Gonzalo Higuain’s hand is still hurting, but we’re quietly confident about his chances. We’ll have to see how he feels later today and tomorrow.

    “Right now, the only forwards who are 100% fit are Mario Mandzukic, Paulo Dybala and Douglas Costa, so we’ll see if anyone can add themselves to that list before kick-off.”

    "BEST BACKLINE NORMALLY WINS THE SCUDETTO"

    “Everyone talks about Napoli’s attacking threat, but they’ve also quickly improved in terms of their defensive organisation.

    “After two clean sheets (against Barcelona and Crotone), we too are working on strengthening our backline.

    “History tells us that it’s the best defence that normally wins the Scudetto. Regardless of whether we actually have the best backline this year, we still want to win the league.

    “Looking at our rearguard, everyone is improving and in Benedikt Howedes, Andrea Barzagli and Medhi Benatia, we have defenders who are also adept with their feet.”

    KEEPING BUSY IS THE BEST WAY 

    "December is a busy month for us with seven matches coming up before the New Year. While that may seem a burden, playing every three days is actually great.

    “That's what football at this level is all about. I much rather my team are actually playing matches than simply training, even if sometimes it's important to take some time to work on things in training."

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