Juventus take on newly-promoted SPAL tomorrow, and the manager Massimiliano Allegri had great news for the Bianconeri faithful in his pre-match press conference, stating that Il Principino Claudio Marchisio would return tomorrow.
Allegri started with a squad update for tomorrow.
“I can confirm Gigi Buffon and Giorgio Chiellini will not play tomorrow.
“Claudio Marchisio is ready for a run-out, not the whole game, while Mattia De Sciglio is in the squad, but lacking match fitness.
“Gonzalo Higuain, Paulo Dybala and Douglas Costa will play, so will Alex Sandro. I have some doubts in midfield, so don’t ask me about that area.
“How do we replace Mario Mandzukic? With Douglas Costa. We take off a tall one and put on someone short… On the other side, it’s either Federico Bernardeschi or Juan Cuadrado.”
There were some rumours of a spat with Dybala, with the youngster rumoured to have insulted Allegri when he was taken off against Udinese over the weekend.
“There is no problem. At that moment I needed a player who could attack on the counter and substitutions are part of the decisions a Coach must make.
“These strikers have always scored goals and always will, there are just moments for everyone when for three or four games they don’t find the net. The important thing is to keep doing the usual performances.
“This game is worth three points, just like last weekend and the next. We must have great respect for SPAL, as they play attractive, attacking football and suffered narrow defeats, causing their opponents big problems. We must get back to winning on home turf.”
Tomorrow’s opponents are familiar to Allegri, as his second stint at coaching was with SPAL in the 2004-05 season in Serie C1.
“I had a valuable experience early in my career with SPAL. We had some difficulties within the club, but you could breathe the air of an important club and history, so SPAL deserve to be in Serie A.
“Leonardo Semplici is a good Coach and is proving he makes the team play very good football at this level too.”
The Scudetto appears to be a balanced race this season with multiple contenders keeping pace so far.
“Winning is something extraordinary. The fact we are talking about a seventh straight title is wonderful, because that would mean going even beyond legend to something nobody has ever done before in Italy. Following this type of an objective will also help us play well in the Champions League. It’s not an either-or situation.
“We can only win the Scudetto if we get it into our heads that we must run hard and suffer. Juventus have the potential to do it.
“Juve must get back to playing for 95 minutes without lowering the tempo or concentration levels. With Torino, we shut off the light for five or six minutes, then did the same with Atalanta. Eventually, when we did it again with Lazio, we fell over.”