Juventus take on Fiorentina tomorrow at the Allianz Stadium in midweek Serie A action. With the fixtures starting to pile up, manager Massimiliano Allegri will be ringing in the changes, but is also cautious that the quality of the team remains consistent.
“We’re only at the start. We’re on the fifth game and usually the table starts to take shape after the 10th, so for now I’d say we’re all travelling calmly together.”
On the progress being made by Federico Bernardeschi -
“Could Bernardeschi start tomorrow? It’s not too soon, but I need to see the training session today, there are some situations I have to evaluate, especially when we have a game on so close on Saturday.
“He could come into the game when it’s in progress, but right now the changes are crucial because otherwise you risk burning players out at the beginning of the season. We need everyone.”
He then added that he had already made a decision at the goalkeeper position.
“I want to see the training session today, some things will definitely change but the only certainty right now is in goal. Tomorrow Gianluigi Buffon won’t play, Wojciech Szczesny will play.
"After the game with Barcelona I decided, together with Gigi, to play Szczesny in this game. That doesn't mean I have more or less confidence, because Neto played a lot of games last season.
"Szczesny is a very good goalkeeper, one of the best in the world, so for Juventus to have two goalkeepers like Buffon and Szczesny is a very important thing.
"Szczesny is a player, a goalkeeper, worthy of the best seven or eight teams in Europe and indeed he's at Juventus, and he'll be the heir to Buffon.
“So tomorrow Buffon will be rested and he’ll be on the bench. We’re fine physically, but we have another important game on Saturday [against Torino], then Wednesday again and then Sunday.”
The manager wants to maintain focus throughout the campaign.
“The important thing is that the team, even when there are changes, doesn’t drop off. The most important thing is to arrive at the crucial phase of the season in the best shape.
“It’s important to win games against the so-called medium or small teams, because they’re important points. Then in the direct clashes anything can happen.
“We won [the Scudetto] last year and we won and lost against Milan, we won and lost against Inter, we won and lost against Roma and we won and drew with Napoli.
“The strange thing is that last year I think there was only one draw in all the direct clashes, ourselves and Napoli, then in all the others either one team or the other won.
“So it’s still too early to say, but what’s certain is we’ll need 90 points to win the league.”
Allegri was then asked about his defence, and what he thought his best backline was.
“First of all we have the problem with Mattia De Sciglio who has almost recovered, he had a good first half against Barcelona and then unfortunately we lost him for 40 days.
“Now we’ve got Benedikt Howedes coming back in, he’s trained with the squad. He won’t start tomorrow, but he’s available.
“So at full-back either he or Stephan Lichtsteiner will play, or Stefano Sturaro could play because when he deputised for De Sciglio in the second half in Barcelona he played well.
“He can grow a lot in that position, not least because Stephan can’t play every three days, the same as a lot of other players.”