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Allegri: Still a long way to go in the season

Coach’s comments ahead of Juventus’ trip to Sassuolo tomorrow

Juventus v Sporting CP: Quarterfinal First Leg - UEFA Europa League Photo by Stefano Guidi/Getty Images

Juventus are back in action on Sunday with a trip to Sassuolo as the Bianconeri look to continue to whittle down the gap between them and the top four after a setback last weekend at Lazio.

Speaking during the build-up to the game, coach Massimiliano Allegri started with an update on the forward corps.

“At the moment I can only say that I believe Moise Kean will not be available due to a flexor annoyance he suffered yesterday. For the others I have to evaluate today in training, Thursday’s game took away a lot of energy, but the players are in good physical condition.

“Dusan Vlahovic did half an hour the other day, he’s in good condition, he did 60 minutes in Rome and I think he’ll be in the game tomorrow. Arkadiusz Milik is better, he’s back after 60 days, he’s played bits and pieces, but he’s a reliable player and I’m happy about that.”

With regards to the rest of the squad, Allegri added -

“Angel Di Maria had two 90-minute games both in Rome and on Thursday. Federico Chiesa had a very good 90 minutes, I’m happy with what he did but that doesn’t mean he has to be satisfied. I think he has room for improvement especially to stay within the game, he has qualities that are difficult to find in other players.”

Both Leandro Paredes and Paul Pogba got some minutes in the final phases of the win over Sporting CP on Thursday night.

“They are two different situations. Paredes is physically fine and is ready to play. Pogba is not.”

Goalkeeper Wojciech Szczęsny came off in tears just before halftime in that game with heart palpitations and breathing problems and will not be in the squad tomorrow.

“If he’s clear and calm he can come with us and be on the bench, so he’ll at least have a day of recovery and rest.

“Matti Perin is in excellent condition and has become an important goalkeeper, compared to when he arrived at Juventus he has made important progress and improvements. He is one of the best goalkeepers there are for reliability and presence in the match.”

With nine games left to go and a ruling on their 15-point deduction coming up this week, Allegri wants his side to keep focusing on winning points.

“This year we have another goal which is to improve on last year’s standings in terms of position. At the moment we have improved it but there are 27 points available and there is still a long way to go.

“Let’s think about tomorrow and score points against Sassuolo, then on Thursday we’ll go play this match in Lisbon. We have to fill May with even more matches if we reach the semi-finals of the Europa League and the final of the Coppa Italia.”

The coach was also asked about Sassuolo midfielder Davide Frattesi, who has been linked with a move to Juventus, Inter Milan and AS Roma among others.

“I remember when I went to see him at Monza, a B match. I said to Galliani: ‘But who is he? This little boy running around the field’ You could see that he had good qualities.”