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Allegri: We must remain concentrated

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Manager’s pre-match press conference

Sevilla FC v Juventus - UEFA Champions League
Massimiliano Allegri
Photo by Aitor Alcalde/Getty Images

Juventus take on Genoa tomorrow looking to go back seven points clear at the top of the Scudetto race. Manager Massimiliano Allegri spoke to the media earlier today ahead of the game.

“It’ll be a battle tomorrow, as Genoa are very aggressive and we need to fight them on their own terms. It will be a complicated game, it wont end until the 95th minute. On their home turf, the Rossoblù always put up a fierce struggle and we’ll have to put ourselves on their same level.

“In my first year at Juventus, we lost against Genoa, so this is an important fixture. We must remain concentrated. There’s only one Champions League game from now until March, so we have to focus on Serie A.

“It would be insane to think we could just sit on a seven-point lead at the top of the table. It’s not that much. We’ve got to keep our feet firmly on the ground and step on the gas. It’d be irresponsible not to understand the situation.

“The next 20 days are going to be very important, as a good chunk of the campaign will be decided now. We’ve got some players back and Paulo Dybala will be available next week too. The upcoming four games will give us a great chance to win the league.”

Allegri demanded maximum concentration on the imminent league fixtures before the team can prepare for the Supercoppa against Milan:

“We will be up against tough opponents: Genoa, Atalanta (now on five consecutive victories), Torino in the derby and Roma. We must concentrate only on the league for the next 20 days: After playing Roma we will think about the Supercoppa in Doha.”

When asked if striker Gonzalo Higuain was fit again, or if 16-year-old starlet Moise Kean would make an appearance -

“Let’s not get ahead of ourselves. He’d have a good game, because he has really improved lately. He is a player in the squad, like all the others.

“Higuain is available, then we’ll see whether to put him in from the start or as a substitute. If Higuain does start, it will be alongside Mario Mandzukic. If not, then it’ll be the same attack as in Sevilla.

“If you want to be at Juve, you need to be in competition for places, though the faith I have in Mandzukic is undeniable.

“Giorgio Chiellini will not play, so it’s either Daniele Rugani or Mehdi Benatia.”