Massimiliano Allegri says he is looking forward to the prospect of taking his place in the home dugout at Juventus Stadium for the very first time since his appointment as Bianconeri manager in July.
Tomorrow evening’s visit of Udinese will see the Tuscan tactician conduct his first team talk in the Juventus dressing room and he has called on the fans to provide a similar rallying cry for a testing clash against a new-look Zebrette outfit.
Speaking to the media in Vinovo, the 47-year-old began: “Tomorrow will be a special night. I’ve only ever been to Juventus Stadium as the opposition so it will be a completely different experience for me as Juventus manager.
“Patience will be required because Udinese give you little space in which to play. As always, we’ll need the fans to get behind us. The atmosphere at Juventus Stadium can provide a great boost in that sense.
“They’re always a tough team to play against. Di Natale is in excellent shape and always represents a threat. Muriel has extraordinary qualities, they’ve bought Thereau and Kone and Stramaccioni’s inherited a good setup from Guidolin. It won’t be an easy game by any stretch of the imagination.”
After revealing that newcomers Patrice Evra and Roberto Pereyra are both expected to play a part in Saturday night’s clash, Allegri went on to provide journalists with a comprehensive update from the treatment table.
“Vidal comes off the back of a season in which he played constantly, underwent a meniscus operation and featured in the World Cup 30 days later. He returned from international duty with a strain and we’ve decided to leave him out as a precaution. Chiellini will work with the team and Morata returns to the squad despite not yet being fully match fit.
“As far as Barzagli is concerned, our medical staff and fitness coaches have worked well and he could even be on the bench tomorrow. Tevez was a false alarm, he felt a twinge when striking a ball on the volley. Pirlo’s on the road to recovery and will try kicking a ball next week. If all goes well he’ll be back ahead of schedule. Marrone is the only one who remains sidelined.”
Regardless of the current absences, Allegri is confident the squad of players at his disposal is capable of dealing with the rigours of an intense campaign in which the Bianconeri will be battling for silverware on several fronts.
“During the season there are moments when you have two or three absences and the team needs to be comfortable in dealing with these - otherwise 12 players would be enough for 50 games.”
“Juventus have an important squad with players who will take to the field to try and win tomorrow’s match. We need to try and begin this cycle of Serie A and Champions League games on a positive note. It’s an exciting month ahead for us.”