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Allegri: “Dybala returns!”

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Manager’s comments ahead of big Juve game against Lazio

SS Lazio v Juventus FC - TIM Cup Final Photo by Paolo Bruno/Getty Images

Juventus take on high-flying Lazio tomorrow in a key Serie A clash and manager Massimiliano Allegri had some encouraging injury news ahead of the game.

”Tomorrow, Paulo Dybala will play. You can write it in the newspaper ‘Dybala returns!’. Dybala will replace Gonzalo. He can play as a sole striker in this system. He is fit and ready to play otherwise he’d have stayed on the bench.

“Giorgio Chiellini could have a break but beyond that Daniele Rugani is fine, so is Andrea Barzagli. Benedikt Howedes is doing well and Medhi Benatia is fine so we have plenty of defenders.

Gianluigi Buffon will play tomorrow.”

He also provided an update on the condition of Gonzalo Higuain.

“Gonzalo Higuain is not available as he still has a bit of a problem. We’ll see about London because today he did some training but still had a little bit of trouble. There’s still four or five days left so we’ll stay confident and optimistic.

“He’s in pain, otherwise he would’ve come to Rome with us. We’re not thinking about Tottenham. Lazio are the priority.”

As far as the other players still recovering.

Juan Cuadrado and Mattia De Sciglio are improving, I hope they will get back to training soon. We are still waiting to have news about Federico Bernardeschi.

“Football is strange. Last season we had no injuries in attack, this season we have more options but more injured players.”

Lazio went to penalties on Wednesday against AC Milan before being eliminated from the Coppa Italia. Does he expect them to be tired or despondent?

“Playing 120 minutes on Wednesday won’t affect Saturday’s match because it’s one that has so much motivation and it’s so important for us and them.

“Tomorrow is a top-six clash which is always good from a football standpoint and important for both teams so 120 minutes on Wednesday won’t matter. We’ve played 30 less but also a match of great intensity. We must be ready for tomorrow’s challenge with the best mental and tactical conditions. It’s a match where attention to detail will make the difference.

“The best team must be put out. We’ve lost twice to Lazio due to making mistakes, they’ve grown a lot and Inzaghi is doing a great job.

“His team have physical and technical qualities and deserve to be the position they’re in. It’s always difficult to play against them, they give little away and are very good off the ball.”

We’re never far away from Allegri contract talks and if he will stay with Juve.

“I’m tied until 2020, I’m happy here and I don’t see why I should leave, unless a catastrophe happens between now and the end of the season.”