30.11.2018 11:30 - in: Serie A S

      Allegri: “A big weekend for Serie A”

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      The boss expects a tough test at Fiorentina: "They'll be really fired up and will do everything possible to beat us"

      Massimiliano Allegri is readying his side for a testing encounter at the Stadio Franchi on what he believes could be a pivotal weekend at the top end of the league.

      The Bianconeri take on Fiorentina while their closest rivals Napoli and Inter travel to Atalanta and Roma, respectively. 

      “It's going to be a tough game,” the coach told the gathered media at a news conference on Friday. “Fiorentina are a fine team with young, skilful players and they're well drilled as a unit. They haven't lost at home yet and they've scored 14 while conceding just three. Plus, this is the biggest game of the year for them so they'll be really fired up and will do everything possible to beat us. 

      “This is an important weekend because all the teams at the top have tricky away fixtures. We'll need to be patient and remember that matches in Florence are never over until they're over. They'll have the whole city behind them. We'll must show great character and be on the ball technically.”


      Allegri revealed he would make changes to the side that beat Valencia in midweek but stopped short of giving any specific details away. 

      “Wednesday was a tough, intense match and we'll need a lot of mental and physical energy tomorrow. 

      “[Federico] Bernardeschi is back but [Sami] Khedira isn't available. I doubt Alex Sandro will be either. We'll go with either [Mattia] De Sciglio or [Joao] Cancelo at left-back.

      “Emre Can trained with the squad for part of the session yesterday. We'll speak with the doctors and see if he might make the bench. 

      “You won't see the same team as Wednesday.”


      The boss was asked about his attacking options and in particular Cristiano Ronaldo and Mario Mandzukic, who have scored all of Juve's goals in the last three matches.

      “Football is simple. When you have the right chemistry between players everything is good. The front three did well against Valencia. 

      “It's true that [Paulo] Dybala is scoring less but he's the link between midfield and attack and he gets us out of tight spots with his technical ability. The team is benefiting as a result.

      “I've always said that with his skill set he should be involved in all areas of the pitch. He's had lots of opportunities since the start of the season and he may not be scoring as much as last year but he plays a key role for the team. He's playing in the same position but we have an extra player up front now now. I'm happy with what he's doing. 

      “We have the league's best attack. We haven't won any games 4-0 yet but there's no such thing as perfection.”


      The coach also spoke about the team's short- and long-term targets.

      “We have to keep raising the bar and demanding more of ourselves each and every day. Everything's gone well so far but we must remain level-headed and not get carried away by the good results. We need to reach March in optimum physical and mental shape. 

      “Our aim in the short term is to make sure we're top on 29 December – hopefully with a big points advantage.”

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