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Allegri: 3-5-2 both a choice and a necessity against Fiorentina on Sunday

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Manager’s pre-match comments before Juventus - Fiorentina clash

Juventus FC v Bologna FC - Serie A
Massimiliano Allegri
Photo by Valerio Pennicino/Getty Images

Juventus take on Fiorentina in what is perennially a heated battle, and should be no different this year. Ahead of the game, manager Massimiliano Allegri talked about the squad, the game and more.

On the importance of the game -

“It’s always the game of the year for Fiorentina and I hope for a great evening of sport, including in the stands.”

On Patrice Evra being dropped from the squad again -

“It doesn’t irritate me, as Patrice is a great professional and a good man. We talked it over calmly, he is evaluating what he wants to do, but it’s absolutely not a problem for us.”

On his starting lineup -

“The 3-5-2 system is both a choice and a necessity. Giorgio Chiellini has a temperature, Andrea Barzagli has played often lately, so I’d either need to turn someone else into a full-back or change system, but I can assure the approach of the team will not change.

“Either I find a right-back from Barzagli, Juan Cuadrado and Stefano Sturaro or I have to change something. Alex Sandro is available and, unless something happens, he will start.

“We’re pleased to have Kwadwo Asamoah back to full fitness, as he can play as full-back or wing-back. It’s difficult to leave anyone out, including Mario Mandzukic, Cuadrado, Sturaro, etc. It’s difficult, but on the other hand I am happy because it means whoever comes off the bench, the squad retains its quality.

“The forward line also depends on whether we play with three or four at the back. Paulo Dybala and Miralem Pjanic are really improving their rapport. Dybala and Gonzalo Higuain are different players, so naturally the more they play together, the better they’ll develop that understanding.

“I will say Marko Pjaca did some great things against Atalanta after four months out and he’s a big addition to the squad.”

On the narrow win over Atalanta in the Coppa Italia midweek -

“Juventus have played 18 games in Serie A so far this season, topped the Champions League group and got through in the Coppa Italia. Having said all that, we need to work in order to improve ourselves.

“It’s not so much the black-out when we’re taking the lead, but rather we tend to fumble leads even on 1-0. We didn’t do that last season.

“We need to improve and have a good chance of going all the way in Serie A, the Champions League and Coppa Italia. Those are our objectives.

“Juventus are achieving good things this season. We played well against Atalanta and the game was under control, but the last 10 minutes were dangerous when we were only 3-2 up. I am pleased that when Atalanta scored for 2-1, we poured forward and tried to immediately score another.

“The important thing is to concede fewer goals. Tomorrow we are facing a side that loves to shoot from distance, as they’ve got players who can do that from all angles.

“What we have to improve on is our passing, the way we command the game and to defend when it’s necessary. That’s no shame in football, as it’s about defending and attacking. That has to be the next step in our journey.

“We need to play well and win. We played well against Atalanta, then made two mistakes and conceded two goals.

"If we retain our current lead over the next four games, so by the end of January, then we'll have a very good chance of taking home the Scudetto."