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Allegri: Berardi an interesting youngster, developing well

Juventus manager’s pre-match comments

US Sassuolo Calcio v Juventus FC - Serie A
Max Allegri against Sassuolo last season
Photo by Gabriele Maltinti/Getty Images

Juventus take on Sassuolo tomorrow and manager Massimiliano Allegri spoke on a variety of topics during his pre-match press conference earlier today.

On who will be lining up for Juve tomorrow -

“Juan Cuadrado is getting his papers done and he should be available.

“As for Dani Alves, tomorrow Stefan Lichtsteiner will play in his stead. He [Lichtsteiner] has been left out of the Champions League list after a technical decision, but I have three players for that role and he's still very important for Juventus. He'll play tomorrow.

“I have footballers who allow me to change formation and I may do that over the year, depending on the match or during the match itself. But of course that doesn't happen overnight.

“The market is closed and there's no point in talking about what could have happened. I have six midfielders plus Claudio Marchisio, who'll hopefully finish his recovery as soon as possible.

“They started well, they won twice and they have the right type of tough approach for the beginning of the championship.

“Sassuolo play very well, and we'll only think about Wednesday once we've taken three points from them. All other discussions are useless.

“Gonzalo Higuain's odds of starting from the beginning? Don't ask me to give a percentage as I've never been good at them, let's say he has a good chance.”

He expounded on the status of more squad members -

“[Marko] Pjaca played in Rome and he did very well when he came in. He's a very good player and he's young, he could be the surprise of this championship.

“We have many games ahead of us and the [internal] competition can only be good for us. Everybody must prove themselves on the pitch, because that's the only place where a Coach makes his decisions.

“We have some important objectives and if we work all together we can make it. Or I should say that they can make it, because they're the ones who go onto the pitch and play the games.”

More on the players who were off on international duty -

“We'll see, Sami Khedira's in a good condition and a substantial player, as we all know. Even last year, and even when he wasn't at his top form, you could really feel his presence when he was on the pitch.

“Giorgio Chiellini seemed calm and so did Paulo Dybala, who came back early. Giorgio was sent off, although I felt he did not deserve the second yellow.

“He played two good games with Juventus from the beginning. It can happen that a player's form dips for one game, but that can't affect his serenity. He's back, he's calm and he can play again tomorrow, there are no problems.

“Sometimes we focus too much attention on a player when he's been sent off unfairly.”

Some players will definitely not take part tomorrow -

“Players I'm resting? Andrea Barzagli and Dani Alves aren't going to play.

“[Claudio] Marchisio? Let's wait till he's back before discussing him. Recovering from an ACL requires some time, and we mustn't hurry him or we'll just cause more problems on a muscular level.

“He's recovering fine and he's being followed carefully. We hope to have him back soon so we can give him back the group. He needs it above all else psychologically.”

On the topic of Sassuolo forward Domenico Berardi who has often been linked with a move to the Bianconeri -

“Berardi is a very interesting youngster who is developing really well. He made his decision to remain with Sassuolo and he's one of Italy's best talents.

“Sassuolo are a very well-organised team that play good football. Berardi's absence will, at least in one way, give them more drive, even though his goals and his assists do leave their mark on a game.

“They started training before we did and are in a better condition. They played more official matches too, but tomorrow we've got to win.”

More on tomorrow’s opponents -

“Sassuolo always made things difficult for Juventus in the past few years. The games have always been closely contested, they're a reality of Italian football.

“This year they have the opportunity of giving it a shot in Europe, and I wish them all the best because they are a team I'm very fond of, as I am of their president Giorgio Squinzi.”

And he finished off talking about the upcoming fixtures -

“It's an important contest for us, we need three points now because we're about to step into a seven-game cycle inclusive of two Champions League matches.

“Everyone has a possibility of playing because we'll need to keep a high level of intensity, and you can't do that with the same players every three days. Everyone's in a good condition and I have a squad of great quality. We'll see who's going to play tomorrow.

“In football everything is possible, and we changed five-six players per game at times last season. Of course the team must find its balance.

“Let's not forget that we met up on August 2, then everybody left again on the 28th for the national teams and we only came back together yesterday.

“Dani Alves only came yesterday afternoon and [Juan] Cuadrado isn't here yet. Or perhaps he landed this morning. He's doing what he must and we're hoping to have him for tomorrow.

“Of course with a squad like this I can give more resting time and let players recover their physical and mental energies, which are so important in such a long season.”