On Sunday night, Juventus hosts Milan in one of the biggest Serie A showdowns of the season. The Bianconeri are still searching for their first domestic win of the season following a horrific start, while the Rossoneri arrive to Turin with a perfect record (3 wins from 3 matches).
However, the Old Lady will be hoping to build on Tuesday night’s Champions League victory over Malmo, and begin their climb in the Serie A table.
Ahead of the encounter against his former club, Massimiliano Allegri held his pre-match press conference on Saturday, and tried to play down the importance of the match for his side.
“We are growing, we have good expectations, but it will be more important for them than for us,” said the Juventus manager as translated by Football Italia.
“Milan played a great game in Liverpool, it wasn’t easy. It proves they have personality, it will be a great game tomorrow.
“I have one doubt in defense, one in midfield and one in attack. I will decide after tomorrow’s training session.”
“I was lucky enough to coach Ibrahimovic, he is still a crucial player. The game is important because it’s Juventus versus Milan.
The manager revealed that Federico Chiesa is one of the doubts that he has for tomorrow, as the young star is still recovering from an injury he sustained while on international duty.
“Chiesa is one of the doubts I have. Right-winger is his natural role, if he plays as a striker, he needs a center forward close to him. If he plays on the left, he can cut inside.
“He still needs to improve his reading of the game, he has important qualities, but he needs to improve in other areas.
“I’ve found a different Juventus. We can’t compare this Juventus with the team of the past,” he added.
“This team has its own identity. We must become a team, improving under many aspects, but it’s just a different Juventus.
“Five games are remaining before the break, everybody must feel important, whether they start or come off the bench.
“We could have had more points, but this was not the case,” Allegri admitted.
“We need to improve all together, I need to understand who can make an impact coming off the bench during the game, but the more we go ahead, the easier it is to understand my players.
“After the break, in November, we’ll make our assessments but I think we’ll be in a different position at that point.
“This is a very balanced league, without a top team that can win easily. It’s easy to lose points, but it can be easy to recover as well.
“For sure, we’ll play a great game tomorrow, then we can’t know the result already. The devil invented football and games can change very quickly. We need to be balanced, work hard have the desire and the ambition to improve.
“Juventus must play to win the title, not just single games. To do it, you must have consistency, work hard and be focused all the time.”
The former Cagliari tactician touched on Matthijs de Ligt’s subject, who is expected to be dropped from the starting lineup in favor of the tried and tested partnership of Leonardo Bonucci and Giorgio Chiellini.
“De Ligt is 22-year-old. He is an excellent player. He joined Juventus from Ajax when he was only 20. After he arrived here, somebody wrote: ‘He is a future Ballon d’Or winner.’
“Guys, calm is needed. He is 20, but the Juventus jersey is a heavy one. Chiellini was probably not as good as De Ligt at his age, but at 27-28 he became a great player. It takes time.
“There is a standard path for everybody, players and coaches. De Ligt is a young player with quality, but he still needs to improve and will stay many years at Juventus, regardless of how many games he plays.
“A great surprise this season is Daniele Rugani, he has a different approach, he is a reliable player. This doesn’t mean he will play tomorrow, but I rely on him.”