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Allegri cautions Juve to focus on the present

The spectre of Barcelona is still close to a month away

Juventus v FC Porto - UEFA Champions League Round of 16: Second Leg
Massimiliano Allegri
Photo by Marco Luzzani/Getty Images

Juventus return to Serie A action this weekend with a game against Sampdoria and manager Massimiliano Allegri has warned the Bianconeri that they need to focus on the present and worry about the Champions League tie against Barcelona later.

“It will be a big clash, but there’s no point talking about Barcelona now.

“We have Sampdoria, two games with Napoli and then Chievo. It’ll be a fascinating match, but tomorrow is the most difficult of them all, because you don’t need to find motivation against Barcelona. Samp have beaten Roma, Milan and won the derby with Genoa.”

He restated the importance of what he calls Juve’s first objective, winning the Scudetto.

“With all due respect, there are 10 games left in Serie A, Roma and Napoli have the potential to pick up 30 points, so we don’t have first or even second place under lock and key.

“If we don’t play tomorrow’s game with a serious, responsible attitude, we could find Roma five points away. Our primary objective is to win the Serie A title, because six consecutive Scudetti is something historic that has never been done.”

Going back to the Barca clash -

“After the break for international duty, we’ve got Napoli and then the chance to reach the Coppa Italia Final. Barcelona isn’t until April 11, there’s time.

“I want to point out, and this is the last thing, that Juventus playing Barcelona in the Champions League quarter-final is not an extraordinary event. It has to be normal. We have been in this position fairly regularly of late, we were just unlucky last year to get Bayern Munich in the draw straight away.”

For Dani Alves, there is a lot at stake against his former club -

“I might let him play other games and not against Barcelona.”

And then back to the Sampdoria game tomorrow -

“Tomorrow we need to be careful of ourselves. Sampdoria have enthusiasm, Marco Giampaolo has given a real tactical identity to the team and they have nothing to lose. After winning the derby, they will try to make a dream come true by beating Juventus.

“If we don’t have the same motivation as Samp, we’re in real trouble!”

He also had some updates on the squad -

Giorgio Chiellini is available, but he’s not 100 per cent fit and won’t play tomorrow. He won’t go on international duty either. We’ll recover him for the next games. I need to choose between Leonardo Bonucci and Daniele Rugani, but Andrea Barzagli will start.