Juventus, after weeks of chasing down Napoli, will have a chance to get their noses in front of the Scudetto as they take on Udinese on Sunday with the Naples side away at Inter Milan later in the day.
After a miraculous comeback at Wembley midweek to seal a Champions League quarter final berth, Juve’s spirits will be sky-high at home, but manager Massimiliano Allegri called for focus.
“We must focus on getting the three points in a difficult game against a very physical side, as Udinese commit the third most fouls in the league this season. That shows how aggressive they are and we are coming off some tough games.
“Wednesday was an extraordinary result, earned in an historic stadium like Wembley, but so far we’ve achieved nothing yet, so we have to keep our heads down and our feet on the ground. What we cannot afford is to take our foot off the gas mentally.”
The Naples side are still ahead in the table by a point, but Juve have a crucial game in hand and hold the advantage.
“Napoli are at the moment still one point ahead, so we must focus on beating Udinese and not what the other results are. We need help from the entire stadium and all our fans.
“Regardless of who steps on to the field, what counts is that tomorrow we have the focus, spirit and responsibility to understand the importance of this game.”
Allegri also provided a squad update.
“Stephan Lichtsteiner and Alex Sandro are suspended, but apart from Juan Cuadrado and Federico Bernardeschi, everyone else is fine.
“Cuadrado is going for a specialist visit in Germany. Bernardeschi will have more tests in 20 days, at which point they’ll tell us if he needs surgery or not.
“I can confirm Wojciech Szczesny will start in goal. Mattia De Sciglio and Kwadwo Asamoah are the full-backs. Mario Mandzukic has recovered, but I still need to decide who to play upfront.”
This week some big decisions were made for Italian football around the transfer window and the season only starting after the mercato is closed, and Allegri is evidently in favour.
“I absolutely agree and in fact hoped that the window would be closed at the end of July rather than mid-August.”