Juventus will be looking to halt a recent slide in the Serie A that has seen them draw and lose their last two games, including surrendering a 57-game unbeaten streak at the Juventus Stadium. This weekend they travel to mid-table Udinese looking to get back to their winning ways.
Speaking ahead of the game, manager Massimiliano Allegri talked about the importance of not letting the gap at the top of the table continue to widen.
“We need to recover lost points and stop those in front of us breaking away. We have to work as a team and leave aside the issue of aesthetics or beautiful football, because we need to put some points under our belts.”
Juve won midweek in the Champions League when an inspired substitution of Douglas Costa led to the late winner from Mario Mandzukic.
“It takes luck too, but I already wanted to make the change against Lazio. I’m glad I waited, because the Sporting match was more important for us to win.
“Douglas Costa is in good shape and when you play so many games, it’s important to have the right changes off the bench. I still have to decide if he will start.”
He went on to provide an injury update, including some names we haven’t heard in a while.
“Paulo Dybala returned from Argentina and was not in good shape, so he was rested on Saturday. He is in good shape, he’s able to deal with any issue on or off the field and he will play tomorrow.
“I said the team was disconnected because it’s like when you have a computer and it’s not connected to the Internet, it won’t go very well. That happens on the field too.
“Daniele Rugani will play tomorrow. I hadn’t seen many guarantees from him in training and preferred to use other players in certain games. Claudio Marchisio is called up, but not Blaise Matuidi because he has a muscular issue in the flexor.
“Mattia De Sciglio will return to training with the squad on Monday, Marko Pjaca will play with the Primavera squad to get minutes in his legs and Benedikt Howedes will slowly get into the group from Monday. Giorgio Chiellini will 99 per cent play tomorrow.
“After the break for international duty, we should all be there and ready to play. Injuries happen during a season.”