As Juventus gear up for their first league away trip of 2019, against Simone Inzaghi’s Lazio side at the Stadio Olimpico, Massimiliano Allegri gave his thoughts on tomorrow’s game in the pre-match press conference.
“Matches against Lazio are always challenging. They will be looking to beat one of the so-called big sides for the first time this season. They get a lot of attempts on goal when they play at home and they’ll be seeking to bounce back from the defeat at Napoli,” the coach said.
“This is an important game for us because we need to maintain consistency in our results. We’ll need a good performance in every aspect.”
“The one doubt I have is whether to play with two or three in midfield. [Joao] Cancelo will start as a sub but he could have an impact coming off the bench. [Andrea] Barzagli will be available in between three and four weeks. [Mario] Mandzukic and [Sami] Khedira will be back for the Parma game and [Miralem] Pjanic will be back in training on Monday,” Allegri explained.
“On [Moise] Kean, he needs to stay at Juventus. He’s 18 years old and still has everything to learn in football. He’s lucky to be here, at a club where he’s looked after in every way. If he were to leave, he’d be abandoning this path of development.
“Emre Can has a lot to improve when playing in front of the defence, as does [Rodrigo] Bentancur. Pjanic is the one that’s able to play the ball quickest. It’s an issue of training. Emre’s passing instincts have improved – he’s young and has time on his side.”
THE RETURN OF MARTIN CACERES
While the coach was speaking at the press conference, Martin Caceres was having his medical ahead of his return to the club.
“He is not a stopgap – we really wanted to bring him here. [Medhi] Benatia asked to leave, which was not what the club had hoped for, but his wish was granted. It wouldn’t have made sense to keep him against his will,” Allegri said.
“Along with the club, we assessed who we could bring in and we were lucky that Martin accepted. He’s a very good defender and gives us a boost in an area where we’re already very strong. The fact I already know him was a contributing factor.
“He’s ready and can give Juventus a great deal. I’ve always said he’s interchangeable with Barzagli, [Leonardo] Bonucci and [Giorgio] Chiellini. Having positive guys like him in the team is always good and it makes me happy. That’s all the business we’ll be doing.”
On the topic of defenders, the Bianconeri coach also spoke about Daniele Rugani: “Now he’s got the opportunity to play lots of games and build on the improvements he’s made over recent years.”