Juventus are back in action tomorrow as the Serie A resumes after the World Cup break, playing away at Cremonese. The Bianconeri had struggled with injuries in the first half of the season and the winter respite doesn’t seem to have changed anything at all.
Speaking during his pre-match press conference coach Max Allegri talked about tomorrow’s opponents before providing a squad injury update.
“Tomorrow we face a tough team after a break of 52 days. Cremonese didn’t concede in the last home games. they are fifth in Serie A for shots on target, they are aggressive, so we need to have respect and be humble.
“I am curious to see the approach, it will make the difference, we must be in the right mood after a break of 52 days. It’s the second part of the season, the decisive one. We must have enthusiasm, desire and responsibility. It’s part of the job. Otherwise, it would be too flat.”
The injury bug continues to rage in the squad, with Leonardo Bonucci, Paul Pogba, Dusan Vlahovic and Angel Di Maria unavailable, and Federico Chiesa not fully fit yet.
“Pogba is running, the most important thing is that he feels no discomfort in his knee at the moment. If he continues like this, he can join the team in 15-20 days, but it all depends on how the situation evolves and when he will raise the bar. Step by step.
“Chiesa is feeling better, he has worked with the team and is ready to play a fraction in the game. I will make my assessments today and talk to the players. Substitutions will be crucial tomorrow. Those who have worked here feel quite well.”
Di Maria and Argentina teammate Paredes returned late to Turin late after Argentina’s World Cup winning celebrations, but Di Maria then got hurt again during the first training session.
“Making them return a day earlier would have changed nothing, we need to look at the long run, not a single game. It was fair to let them enjoy a week off after winning the World Cup, it doesn’t happen every year.
“Di Maria is feeling quite well, we rarely had Di Maria, Pogba and Chiesa. Hopefully, Vlahovic will be back soon. We need everyone, the return of these players is essential. Vlahovic is feeling better and I hope that everyone will be available by the end of the month.
“I will assess Szczesny, the three Brazilians are fit, right now I must make my assessment because we play again in 72 hours.”
The impasse around Adrien Rabiot’s contract is not about to be resolved with the player demanding more money ahead of his current contract expiring this summer.
“It’s useless to talk about transfers now, we must focus on the pitch. Rabiot is feeling fine, he returned from the World Cup with the desire to do well, we are focused on what we need to do from now until June 5.”