The Bianconeri face a tough challenge in the form of third-placed Inter in their fifteenth match of the Serie A season. Ahead of tomorrow night’s match at Allianz Stadium, Massimiliano Allegri underlined the significance of the encounter.
THE DERBY D'ITALIA
“It’s a great match to be involved in and an important one too – it’s the Derby d’Italia,” he said.
“It will be a fascinating evening, bringing together two teams who, along with Milan, have written the history of Italian football.
“We’re up against a team that have grown in confidence and are picking up improved results. They and Napoli are our main challengers, at the moment.
“It’s a match that prepares itself, like big Champions League games. Luciano Spalletti is doing great things, as he did at Roma and in Russia.”
The coach also said a few words about Andrea Agnelli, the club president, who turned 43 today: “The thing that struck me straight away about the president is his decision-making – it’s a great quality to have and one I admire.”
“We need to keep doing what we’re doing, while staying calm. Juventus want to win the league. It’s not dead and buried, the numbers are there. You can’t win it this early – there are too many games and points to play for. We still have to play our challengers.
“Between the game with Inter and the one against Young Boys, I’d say the game on Wednesday is much more significant, as we’ll be playing for top spot in the group. We’ll take one step at a time, from now until 29 December. We need to maintain consistency and improve our performances.”
Allegri gave some indications as to the players that are set to be involved tomorrow: “Emre Can will be in the squad; he may be able to play a portion of the match. I need to assess Rodrigo Bentancur because he’s got a back problem. If he can’t play, either I’ll put Can straight in or we’ll play in a different way. At the back, everyone is okay, Andrea Barzagli aside.”
“They like to play football and try and stretch teams. They’ve got Mauro Icardi up top who is an extraordinary finisher. Plus, they’ve got Perisic, Politano, Joao Mario, Brozovic, Nainggolan, De Vrij and Asamoah, who is one of the best full backs around. Their weaknesses? It’s up to us to exploit them.”