Juventus take on cross-town rivals Torino today with the season winding down, and as his usual, manager Massimiliano Allegri warned against any kind of complacency.
“Atalanta, Monaco and Torino all play a fairly similar game, especially in terms of players. They each have great technique and pace in their teams.
“The derby? There’ll be a nice atmosphere, even for what happened during the Superga anniversary.
“In the face of tragedies, there’s only respect, there are no colours. The fans must behave well and be calm.”
Despite Juve now holding a nine-point lead with just four games to play over a rapidly-fading Roma, Allegri insists it’s all still left to play for.
“There’s still a bit of the campaign to go before we can win the title, and we’ve yet to reach the Champions League final.
“We’d have to play the Coppa Italia before the [Champions League] final, plus many other matches. But we must get to the finish line first.
“The team are in a good mental and physical condition, the lads picked up a great result in Monaco, but we can do better in the return leg from a performance perspective.
“Getting to June won’t be easy. These 20 days must be had with great enthusiasm and desire to get to the end of the season because it doesn’t happen every year, and every moment has to be had the same as the last one.
“We’re thinking about what will happen tomorrow, not the season’s end. For now, thinking beyond the next game can put you off-track. We only have one certainty, the Coppa Italia final.
“The other final will be decided on Tuesday and the title will be decided once it’s mathematically the case. “We’ll train and think about tomorrow, then Monaco. It’s useless to make predictions, so we’ll just go for it and nothing more than that.”
Torino President Urbano Cairo said that there was no way he’d sell star Andrea Belotti to Juve. Allegri for his part also said Belotti wouldn’t fit in at the Bianconeri.
“Belotti and Mihajlovic? Belotti’s a great champion and Italy’s future. I know Sinisa comes to see us often, so he’ll be prepared for the game.
“Belotti and Higuain? You can’t play these two together, not even with glue.”
He went on to call Belotti “a great champion and Italy’s future”, before launching a rant over today’s one-hit wonders.
“The Italian League is criticised so much, but everyone who comes here improves, especially from a tactical perspective, so much so that all the foreign players are coming here, to Italy.
“Buffon and Ronaldo are two great role models, Gigi even more than Ronaldo due to his age.
“They have great sincerity and professionalism, as well as great heads and sacrifice, which today’s young players have little of because they think they’re phenomena after 30 minutes.
“It takes great qualities and a great head to become a phenomenon.”
There were some random references towards who would be in the team today.
“My XI? It’s a pretty good problem because even I don’t know [my XI] yet. Today we’ll train and then we’ll see.
“I have players that allow me to change things, even if some are ahead of others.
“Marchisio had a great match on Wednesday and is returning to his usual level. I don’t think he’ll play tomorrow, but he’s made a big contribution and he’s coming back.
“Bonucci will play tomorrow.
“The derby will be a very difficult match, Torino are in good shape. They’ll be aggressive, but we won’t need to be in order to pick up a positive result.”
As always a question about his future.
“My renewal? It makes no sense to talk about it, neither now or before. We’ll meet when it’s possible, but there are no problems.”
Juve only need to match Roma’s result this weekend to become uncatchable mathematically.
“Celebrations? If there’s going to be a celebration from now until the end of the season, we’ll do it. We work when we have to work and celebrate when we have to celebrate, but we’ll also have to be good at plugging in the plug.”