Massimiliano Allegri has urged Juventus to cap off a magnificent 2014 by returning home with a third Italian Super Cup in as many years when they go into battle with Napoli tomorrow evening in Doha.
Having already ticked two important boxes of the campaign – top spot at Christmas and the knockout stages of the Champions League – the Tuscan tactician is eager to crown a positive start to life in the Bianconeri dugout by going one further and lifting his first trophy with the club.
Speaking to the media at the venue for tomorrow night’s game, the Jassim Bin Hamad Stadium, the 47-year-old began: “This is our third aim of the season so far. We’ve achieved the other two: seeing in 2015 at the top of the table and qualifying for the Champions League last 16.”
A strong Partenopei side, hungry to avenge the defeat they suffered in the corresponding fixture two years ago, will prove worthy opposition and Allegri acknowledges the final outcome is anything but a foregone conclusion.
“We can’t put a foot wrong. We have a great deal of respect for Napoli, who are a well-organised team and always difficult to face in a one-off game.
"They play with two midfielders and four very good, very skilful offensive players. If you give them space, they really come into their element and are able to unleash all their attacking potential. We’ll need to show plenty of intensity and put in a technically strong display.”
Carlos Tevez is widely expected to spearhead the Bianconeri forward line tomorrow night and Allegri envisages no problems with the striker’s fitness other than an element of inevitable fatigue following a heavy run of fixtures.
“He’s an important player but we’re not dependant on him. Our goals this campaign have been shared throughout the team, even if Carlos has indeed struck ten, inspiring us at the start of the term with some extraordinary performances. He needs a rest just like everyone else at this stage of the season, but he’s not tired.”