25 February 2022
After midweek Champions League duties in Spain, Massimiliano Allegri spoke to the press about Juve’s upcoming weekend fixture against Empoli, which kicks off on Saturday at 18.05 CET.
“Tomorrow is a match we need to win. We know it will be tough, they beat us in the first game, when we played well for the opening 20 minutes but lost our shape after they scored.
“They don’t have any concerns about their position in the table so they come into the match with their minds free, while we need to recharge our batteries, especially on a mental level.”
“I’m sorry for Weston McKennie because he was playing well and offered us something different in midfield. I’m really sorry for Kaio Jorge, who suffered a really nasty injury, and we’ll give him all the time he needs just like we are doing with Federico Chiesa.
“I still have to assess the situation in defence. In the Champions League, Leonardo Bonucci played an entire half, which wasn’t foreseen. Giorgio Chiellini is out all of next week, while we’ll wait and see as far as Daniele Rugani is concerned. Alex Sandro is also out of contention for tomorrow’s match.
“Due to these injuries, we have promoted three players from Under-23: Fabio Miretti, Matias Soulé and Marley Aké, who was often already training with the first team.
“Moise Kean could start tomorrow. If so, one between Alvaro Morata and Dusan Vlahovic will be rested. Paulo Dybala might be available for Fiorentina in the Italian Cup. I expect a good game from Kean should he play. He always puts himself in a position to score.”
“Heading into March, we have the matches with Villarreal and Fiorentina to look forward to, as well as the chase for one of the top four places. In my opinion, 85 points will be enough to win the title. So, that rules us out of the scudetto race.
“If I knew why we were scoring so few goals, we’d resolve that problem immediately. The final pass lets us down. It’s a situation we need to improve otherwise there’s the chance we let our opponents back into the game and put the result or qualification at risk. We need to remain lucid, to understand when the moment is right to damage our opponents.
“The other evening in the Champions League we had good phases when we controlled the ball. However, in Europe when you play in the last-16 of the Champions League you can’t allow your opponents to get back into the game.”
“Where we have improved is knowing how to punish our opponents’ weaknesses. Against Villarreal we did well to take advantage of our wide players. Against Empoli, we expect another kind of match.”