Juventus return to Serie A action with a definitive game on the calendar, though coach Massimiliano Allegri would never admit it. The Bianconeri host league leaders Inter Milan and a win for the Turin side could see them take a one-point lead atop the table. Conversely, a win for the
mer nerazzuri would stretch their advantage to five points, so you can expect a close and ultra-defensive performance for Allegri’s charges.
Speaking during his pre-match press conference, the coach continued his mindgames as he doubled down that Inter are the only true Scudetto favourites.
“It’s an important game for us and it’s part of our journey to develop. It will be nice to play this match. We meet the favourites to win the title. They have said it too and it’s no news.
“It is not decisive even if, psycologically, it’s important for us. I am happy with my team. We know we face a strong side, probably readier than us. It is more simple than what it seems, they are readier, but it will still be an important game.”
Juve have struggled with injuries in recent weeks, though Allegri did have some positive news on that front.
“Alex Sandro is back, Danilo will return before the Monza game. We’ll assess Weah. Locatelli has trained over the last three days. Tomorrow, I will decide if he will start or go on the bench.
“We have Nicolussi. Cambiaso and Iling Jr can play in central midfield and I don’t think it would be good to change system after 12 games.
“We can do it during the game, but we have no problems in the middle. Everyone is quite fit in attack, we need a good performance from those starting and those who will be introduced as substitutes.”
Would he persist with Federico Chiesa and Dusan Vlahovic upfront?
“I will decide tomorrow. Chiesa played well with the national team. Tomorrow I will decide the centre forward picking one between Milik, Vlahovic and Kean.
“Vlahovic had a good start. He scored important goals and I am sure he will continue doing so because I know his value.”
Reports seemed to indicate that Inter directors had been upset regarding Allegri’s comments about Inter being ‘built to win the Scudetto’.
“I don’t think they were upset. The Scudetto is their target. They said so. Our path is different, but we want the best. Our target is to return to the Champions League and the lads are doing well.
“Juve-Inter is the Derby d’Italia, we are ready to play as we are ready to play other games. We need a good performance, knowing that we play against a strong team. Details make the difference in big games.
“Inter are still favourite, Milan and Napoli will have to fight for the title. Tomorrow’s game is the most important thing as nobody knows what will happen in two months. We must be able to face any sudden change witout losing our certainties. I have an extraordinary group of players who will do well tomorrow.”