Juventus are back in action on Saturday taking on Bologna, looking to get back on track following a disappointing draw away at Venezia last weekend.
Speaking during his pre-match press conference, coach Massimiliano Allegri indicated that match fitness would play a big part in the game tomorrow.
“It’s a difficult game. They’ve only conceded once from set-pieces and have scored many goals in the second half, which means they are fit. It’s hard to play in Bologna, especially after two defeats, we need a technical game to take the victory home.
“We need to work, I am happy about my choice [of returning to the club]. It takes time because we have a young team with players who are not accustomed to winning.
“I am sorry because we don’t have as many points as we’d deserve. Although we respect them, we can’t get two points out of 15 against clubs like Verona, Udinese, Sassuolo, Empoli, and Venezia.
“We need to improve the way we read games, we’ve had highs and lows in terms of attention and focus after good performances against big teams. That’s where we need to improve, but it takes time.”
Allegri provided a squad fitness update, but it’s not looking good for the Bianconeri who continue to have a number of key players out.
“We have worked well this week, Paulo Dybala is not available. His exams were negative, but don’t forget that he was replaced against Malmo and that we tried him against Venezia and the same thing happened. We don’t want to take any risk, he hasn’t trained with the team, so we’ll see if he is available for the next game against Cagliari.
“Federico Chiesa is working well, same as Danilo, but they won’t be available for the next two games. Giorgio Chiellini is unlikely to travel with the team due to his usual slight problems.
“Dejan Kulusevski is not fit to play 90 minutes. Due to the surgery he underwent, he could not eat solid food for a week, so he’s lost a bit of weight. However, he will be on the bench.
“Aaron Ramsey hasn’t recovered. He has a flexor problem, so he is still out of action.”
With such limited resources at his disposal, how will Allegri line up his side tomorrow?
“I have Adrien Rabiot, Weston McKennie, Manuel Locatelli, Arthur and Rodrigo Bentancur available in midfield, I need to decide if Moise Kean or Kaio Jorge will play in attack with Alvaro Morata.
“Alex Sandro has played many games, I need to decide tomorrow, he hasn’t always trained with the team this week, so tomorrow I will decide who between him and Luca Pellegrini will play.”
The January transfer window is approaching quickly, but Allegri insists there’s no quick fix in the mercato for the Bianconeri’s issues.
“It makes no sense to talk about transfers. Let’s see what happens in the next two games, we talk every day, but the January transfer window won’t solve our problems. We need to work on the players that we have, the team is great. We need to improve and be more clinical, everyone, not just the strikers.
“Now, we need to focus on the next two games, I haven’t thought about how many points we’d need for the Champions League but at the beginning of the new year, we’ll face Napoli and Roma, so we need to be ready.
“January and February are crucial months, so let’s focus on the next game with Bologna and then Cagliari. Then we’ll see in the new year. Maybe with the new year, everything will change.”