Massimiliano Allegri says Juventus cannot afford to rest on their laurels as they bid to extend their fine streak of form by registering what would be a tenth consecutive Serie A triumph on Sunday against Udinese.
Last week’s win over Sampdoria took the red-hot Bianconeri to within just two points of league leaders Napoli, but Allegri is certain there will be plenty more twists and turns over the course of a mouthwatering second half of the season that kicks off tomorrow afternoon in Udine.
Speaking to the media at Juventus Center, he began: “We’re on a good run of form and we’ve made important strides thanks to the players. But you don’t win the title with 39 points, there are 19 games to go and I’m almost certain the title race will go right down to the wire.
“It’s logical that Napoli would be slight favourites as it stands – they’re top of the league and possess a player in Higuain who boasts an impressive strike rate.
“But all five of the teams up there are capable of holding their own in the title race. That includes Roma, who can work their way back into it if they string together a number of victories.”
This season’s title defence began with a shock 1-0 home defeat against Sunday’s opponents, meaning Allegri will not be underestimating the threat posed by a side who will be buoyed by the dawn of a brand new era in Udine.
Commenting on the opposition, he said: “Udinese are in decent form and will be inaugurating their new stadium tomorrow. It will be an important day for them and spirits will be high.”
With Mario Mandzukic a confirmed starter following his recovery from injury, Allegri brought further good news from the treatment table when asked about the respective conditions of Andrea Barzagli, Roberto Pereyra and Mario Lemina.
He concluded: “All the players are in good physical shape. Barzagli will be back after the Lazio game, Pereyra after Roma and Lemina is set to return in a few days’ time. I’m happy because their returns will give me fresh legs, as will the likes of Asamoah and Caceres who have played less.”