The busy schedule means Juventus have little time to rest between games with a Coppa Italia clash against Sampdoria coming up on Tuesday. The Round of 16 game will be played at home, and speaking to the media ahead of the fixture, coach Massimiliano Allegri talked about the importance of the trophy.
“We have to try to qualify and go to the quarter-finals because it’s an objective of the season. It will be a difficult game. If approached in a certain way it could be easier, otherwise it will be more complicated.
“It matters a lot because it’s a goal [for the season]. At the start no one is interested in it, then when you start playing the quarter-finals and semi-finals everyone is interested. We have to be interested from tomorrow.”
Sampdoria have relieved coach Roberto D’Aversa of his duties, with I Blucerchiati sitting just four points above the relegation spots.
“Sampdoria have changed their coach so we have to be even more careful. We’re coming from intense close games, we need to make one last effort because then we’ll have five days to prepare for the San Siro match.
“More than changing, we will play a game of pride because when there is a change of coach, even if the one who will replace D’Aversa hasn’t arrived, to whom I wish good luck, because when these things happen it is always a disappointment. It’s up to us to play the right game, aggressive and good.”
“They have good players up front like Quagliarella, Gabbiadini and Caputo who are good and very dangerous players so we will have to be good on the pitch in the defensive phase as a team. As we only have one central defender at our disposal and we will need to help each other out.”
Allegri also gave an injury update on the squad, with his side now playing their fifth match in thirteen days since returning from the winter break.
“There will be some rotations because we changed six players against Udinese compared to the game against Inter. Tomorrow morning I’ll make a good assessment.
“We’ll have Matthijs De Ligt disqualified and Giorgio Chiellini is half-back and Leonardo Bonucci is out, so I’ll have to decide who to play in the middle.”
Juve looked very composed against Udinese and Allegri will be looking for more of the same tomorrow.
“We played a first half as a mature team, with patience, trying to score goals and not conceding anything to Udinese. In the second half we risked something, it can be because of our opponents but we need to have a different attitude.”
The coach has lifted the Coppa four times, and was asked which was the most special to him.
“All four I hold in my heart, but I think of the one against Lazio where we won in a slightly lucky way. If I’m not mistaken, Lazio hit the post twice and then we went the other way and Matri scored. That was the first one, I think, but they’re all beautiful to remember.”