Juventus take on Inter Milan tomorrow in the Supercoppa Italiana, with the league champions facing off against the winners of the cup competition. However, a technicality around the vaccinations for COVID means Wojciech Szczesny is not available to start in goal.
Speaking ahead of the game coach Massimiliano Allegri provided more details -
“Some players won’t recover, Leonardo Bonucci will be available, but he can’t play for 90 minutes, Alex Sandro has recovered, Danilo will return next week.
“Mattia Perin will start in goal as Szczesny still doesn’t have the Green Pass. All the players are vaccinated, but Tek was the last one and he will arrive at the stadium at the last moment, so he will go on the bench.”
The Green Pass mentioned by Allegri is available 15 days after the first COVID shot.
Daniele Rugani came in for some criticism after the win at AS Roma over the weekend, but the coach would hear none of it.
“I read player ratings on La Gazzetta dello Sport the other day. I don’t want to criticise anyone, but the judgement on Rugani was excessive, I think he was the best player on the pitch against Roma.
“He played a good game and I wanted to say that.”
Star Federico Chiesa has seen his season end after suffering an ACL injury that will require knee surgery, but Allegri would not comment on how that affects Juve’s transfer strategy with just under three weeks left in the January mercato.
“I spoke to him after the game and yesterday morning. I am sorry for him and for Italian football, but these things happen. He is young and has time to recover. He feels ok, he is mentally fine, now everyone must do more.
“I won’t talk about transfers, this is our team, then we’ll see what happens. We have Dejan Kulusevski, Kaio Jorge, Alvaro Morata and Paulo Dybala and Juan Cuadrado can also play as a winger.”
There has been Premier League interest in Kulusevski, but that move is likely now scuppered due to Chiesa’s injury.
“I spoke to him yesterday. He’s been at Juventus for two years and he understands what it means. He needs to make a further step mentally. That’s how the career of a player can improve.
“He has important qualities, he must find the maturity to play the games.”
On what his approach will be for the clash against a dominant Inter side, Allegri insisted patience is the key.
“We need to improve the quality of passes and be more serene, we are in a hurry to build from the back and we should not. We must improve, Inter are a physical team and we’ll need to make the most of every episode tomorrow.
“I am happy and I repeat that we need time, you only gain experience by playing games. We must win tomorrow’s game and become a more solid team.
“Anything can happen in a one-legged game, but the best team usually wins the league. We must reach those who are up there, then we’ll see if we can compete for the title next season.”
Club captain Giorgio Chiellini also talked about what the Bianconeri need to do to win tomorrow.
“We must be balanced, a victory like the one against Roma can boost our self-confidence and adrenaline.
“We must improve and work hard with humility and confidence. We know that details can make the difference. We disconnect too often during games, there are situations that should never happen, like against Roma when we conceded one or two goals in five minutes in the second half.
“Inter have technical quality, they are physically strong and score many goals from set pieces.”