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Allegri: Juventus vs. Roma always a great but controversial match

Coach’s comments ahead of Sunday’s clash between the two big sides

Juventus Training Session Photo by Daniele Badolato - Juventus FC/Juventus FC via Getty Images

Juventus return to domestic action after the second international break with a home game against AS Roma who have experienced a resurgence so far under Jose Mourinho. Speaking at his pre-match press conference, coach Massimiliano Allegri talked about his squad and who he might have available.

“Clear ideas are big words. Today, for the first time, I see the whole team together. The Europeans returned between Wednesday and Thursday, while the South Americans arrived yesterday. Let’s see what we’ll do. I’ll decide in the morning.

“Matthijs de Ligt rested with the Netherlands, and he should play. Leonardo Bonucci, Giorgio Chiellini and Daniele Rugani are fine.”

The Bianconeri are sitting four points behind the Romans in the league table after seven games.

“Juventus vs. Roma is always a great match where there has often been controversy. There’s [Jose] Mourinho, who has given them character. They are ahead of us, and we must score points to not fall behind the best in the championship.

“We need to prepare well and turn the switch back on immediately after the break.”

Aaron Ramsey has been linked with a free transfer away from Juve, possibly in January with Premier League sides interested.

“I leaned a lot on Ramsey at the beginning. Then he got injured, but he has played two games with the national team at least.

“Tomorrow, I don’t know if he will start, but he’s a player I rely on.”

Injury absentees Paulo Dybala and Alvaro Morata are still not training with the full group.

“Morata will train with the team today, but it depends on the risks we can take with his availability. If not, we risk nullifying the work done by the doctors.

“Dybala, absolutely not. He’s far behind Morata. During the week I was reading that Dybala can play against Roma… Maybe the return leg.

“I think he will be available within a week, no more than 10 days.”

When pressed for more information and asked if there was a problem with his recovery, he added.

“Problem, no. He’s on schedule. It was thought that he would have needed a few days less, but these things happen.

“With muscle injuries you think one thing and believe you can do less. It always depends on the evolution of the situation.”

Mourinho tends to become a controversial figure wherever he goes.

“Mourinho is a coach who has won a lot and I respect him a lot. It’s in his character to, every now and then, do like he did with Manchester a few years ago.

“Moreover, that gesture of the ears with Manchester United he did it at the end of Juventus’ most beautiful games. In the end, nobody remembers it because we lost.

“It pleases me to have a coach of his value back in Italy.”

Would Moise Kean get the start or was Allegri thinking of using the false-9 again like against Chelsea?

“Kean is fine, like everyone else. I haven’t decided anything yet. Without Morata, the choice would fall on him or on Federico Chiesa.

“Or on Kaio Jorge, who doesn’t have 90 minutes in him, but who is a very smart guy.”

Human Swiss-knife Federico Bernardeschi has shown himself to be versatile both in the Juve and Italy lineups.

“I will decide tomorrow morning, today I will understand how they all are. I will decide in the last training session tomorrow morning.

“I’m happy with Bernardeschi because he’s doing well, but he must not be satisfied. He must find that continuity of performance that depends only on the mental aspect.

“What has been done remains, what is ahead must be done. Tomorrow, we have a good match that would allow us to make another leap in the table.”

Adrien Rabiot had tested positive for COVID-19 and is still unavailable.

“Expressing a judgment on COVID absences is impossible. I’m sorry he’s not available tomorrow because he was growing [in stature].

“It means he will rest and play the next ones.”

Weston McKennie hasn’t played well this season, but Allegri insists he still has a place in the squad at Juventus.

“He’s not playing in the middle ahead of the defence, he’s a player with goals in his legs. Against Torino he did very well.

“I have great confidence in him, otherwise he wouldn’t play. Tomorrow, I don’t know if he will start or enter during the game.”