Thursday evening at the Allianz Stadium, Juventus host Sassuolo in the Italian Cup. Ahead of the quarter-final tie, Massimiliano Allegri spoke to the press about the Bianconeri’s preparation ahead of the match with the Neroverdi.
“Sassuolo are coming off a 4-0 defeat and they’ll be determined to put that right, so we need to get our approach spot on, which will help us prepare for the match with Atalanta at the weekend.
“I’m happy because we are still in the hunt on all fronts. The mood was lifted with the win over Verona but we can’t get over enthusiastic. I’m more practical rather than a dreamer. Inter are ahead in the league with Napoli and Milan tucked in behind them. We’re keeping pace with Atalanta and we’ll battle it out with them for the remainder of the season.
“But first we face Sassuolo and our aim is to reach the semi-finals. We need to return to the point that we win, we put that victory behind us and concentrate immediately on the next match, and win again. Now we’re in the second half of the season we can’t afford any more mistakes.”
“One of the front three could be rested. Alvaro Morata or Paulo Dybala could make way for Kaio Jorge. Kaio could have gone to another club but he decided to stay. We know there could be extra time so we need to keep that in mind. In the front three, Kean can also play wide on the left. What is important is that we work when in possession and when not.
“Morata is an important player. He played five months with his back to goal, which doesn’t suit his style of play. When he has open space in front of him he becomes devastating. When he’s asked to do things he knows how to do, he makes an impact.”
STRENGTH IN THE CENTRE
“Denis Zakaria is fine. He showed on Sunday he is a quality player and his injury wasn’t serious. Arthur has come along well. He needs to use his energy wisely by not following the action all the time. It could be that in the future Arthur, Zakaria and Manuel Locatelli all line up together but it depends on the game, and we have a lot of matches ahead of us.
“Adrien Rabiot has incredible physical strength and he must display the characteristics he possesses, like on Sunday when he played very well indeed.”
INS AND OUTS
“Giorgio Chiellini is out, Federico Bernardeschi should come back into the fold on Friday. Leonardo Bonucci will start, then we’ll see how to manage the situation because he’s been out for two months.
“Perin will play, too. Cuadrado has always been a key element of this team. He can play full back, help out in defence or push forward and become the third in attack. Now that he rested against Verona, he’ll be a starter tomorrow.”
Source juventus/Football Reporting