Juventus travel to Sassuolo tomorrow for a Serie A clash that they haven’t had much luck with in recent times. Manager Massimiliano Allegri indicated that he would be making changes to the starting eleven for the game.
“Claudio Marchisio can fit into the new system because he is a great player. He is available, but I don’t believe he’ll start tomorrow. All the others are fit.
“Marko Pjaca has a lot of quality. He needs to learn how to deal with pressure and when called upon, he will do well. We need him in this system and we’ll look to him during the second half of the season.
“Tomorrow I have some doubts. I need to choose between Pjaca and Juan Cuadrado, then Tomas Rincon for Sami Khedira. Miralem Pjanic is a great football player, but clearly if you play 10 metres further forward, it’s a different type of effort required.”
It’s likely the Bianconeri will go with the 4-2-3-1 that has brought them success lately.
“The 4-2-3-1 isn’t entirely new to me, as I used this system at SPAL (in 2004-05). I changed because I no longer had the players suited to it.
“We won games in Serie A and the Coppa Italia with this system, but it’s ‘easy’ to win against Lazio after we got slapped in the face by Fiorentina. It’s much harder tomorrow when we must prove that even when games are less motivating on paper, we can still give the same determination.”
On tomorrow’s opponents Sassuolo, who sit in 14th place this season.
“Sassuolo are in good shape and have important players coming back from injury. They played very well against Roma and we’ll need a tough showing.
“In my first year at Juve we drew at Sassuolo and last season we lost, so it’s about time we got the three points.
“Our objective this season is to improve our football, win the Scudetto and Coppa Italia, then go as far as possible in the Champions League.”
Club captain Gigi Buffon is celebrating his 39th birthday today, what would Allegri say to him?
“Gigi mustn’t think about his age. His strength has been in always feeling young. I also say he shouldn’t retire after the 2018 World Cup.”