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Allegri: Derby d’Italia beautiful to play in

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Manager’s comments ahead of big game against Inter

SSC Napoli v Juventus - Serie A Photo by Francesco Pecoraro/Getty Images

Juventus take on Inter Milan in another top of the table clash with the two sides among the top three in the Serie A, separated by just two points.

Manager Massimiliano Allegri spoke to the media ahead of the game, and started by talking about the victory over last weekend’s table toppers.

“Winning at Napoli was a step forward. Tomorrow will be an important game as we’ll be competing against the top team in the League.

“It’s not often that you face the top two teams one after another. We have to improve the physical condition of some players, but I’m confident.

“Decisive for the title race? Juve, Napoli, Inter, AS Roma and Lazio will compete for the title until the last day, but tomorrow’s game won’t decide the Scudetto. For us, the title race will remain open.”

On Paulo Dybala’s recent performance slump -

“I still have to assess him. I’ll make a decision based on today’s training session. Gianluigi Buffon is unlikely to make it. I also still have to decide whether to play three in midfield.

“The less beautiful run he’s going through doesn’t worry me, although he has to go back to doing the things he does best.

“Several players have to recover physically. Miralem Pjanic must find his ideal condition, like Dybala.

“We have the chance to improve the general condition of our whole team for the game against Roma [on December 23].”

Getting a win last week was very important to keep pace at the top -

“A defeat to Napoli would’ve increased the gap between ourselves.

“The title race wouldn’t be over, but it would’ve been more difficult, considering that those at the top are dropping so few points against the smaller teams.”

On Saturday’s clash between the historic rivals -

“The Derby d’Italia is beautiful to play in, so we need to have a great game and also be a bit lucky in order to bring home the result.”

What has the team’s attitude been like recently?

“The team have become more responsible. The difference is always made by work and sacrifice, on the part of both the coaches and players.

“The most important thing was for us to know how to read games well.”

What to expect from Luciano Spalleti and his Inter side?

“He’s confirming the good things he did over the past few years.

“He’s good at getting the best out of his players. He’s one of the best and important for Inter.”

He ended with some more squad health updates -

“Mario Mandzukic had a period when he missed training sessions and his condition dropped, but now he’s resumed [training] and he’s one of those who must recover.

Alex Sandro? was decisive in our first goal [against Olympiacos], but we haven’t seen the real Alex Sandro yet.”