Juventus have only a couple of opportunities left this season to pick up some silverware, and will come up against Inter Milan in the two-legged semi-finals of the Coppa Italia tomorrow. The first leg is being played in Turin, and coach Massimiliano Allegri doesn’t want to rest on the laurels of beating the nerazzuri at the San Siro just before the international break.
“It’s a different competition, but it’s always Juventus-Inter. We must create the conditions to qualify [for the Final]. It’s not an easy game, Inter remain a strong side, regardless of their moment. Actually, it’s in these moments that we have to keep our attention high.
“There’s been too much praise for Juventus, and too many things have been said, which could lead us to lose touch with reality. Tomorrow, we face a strong team, physically and technically. They have lost a few games, so we need to pay attention.
“Playing every three days means that we have targets. We are in the Coppa Italia semis and we must go all the way through. Then we have the Europa League quarter-finals and must fill our weeks until May.
“I don’t think the tie will be decided tomorrow, we need to take one step at a time. We must remain calm, rest today and tomorrow morning and prepare to face a strong team.”
Inter coach Simone Inzaghi has lost three league games on the trot, and though they have a decent chance of progressing to the Champions League having been drawn against Juve’s vanquishers Benfica, is facing some heat, especially with a top four berth still not secured as the Bianconeri are only six points behind them despite a 15-point deduction.
“I think Inzaghi is doing a great job. He already won the Coppa with Lazio who are the team that, after Juventus, won the most trophies in Italy over the last few years. At Inter, he won the Supercoppa and Coppa Italia.
“Inter are a strong team regardless of their moment. They played well on Saturday, creating many chances. It’s dangerous to meet these teams now, we need to be fully focused. Tomorrow, it will be more complicated than in Milan. Inter have strong strikers. I don’t know who will play in attack, they have four strong options.”
The win at San Siro was clouded with controversy with an Adrien Rabiot handball not called in the build up leading to Filip Kostic slotting the only goal of the game.
“[Davide] Massa is an excellent referee who will be able to manage the game well.
“I don’t remember who the referee was in Milan, but they [referees] are all good and we have no fear. I repeat we’ll face a very dangerous team.
“It was [Daniele] Chiffi! I struggle with names, they always make fun of me when I announce the line-up because I always get the names wrong but not those of my players.”
Federico Chiesa missed out in the narrow 1-0 win over Hellas Verona on Saturday, but is available for this clash.
“He is available, he had his knee checked in Austria. He has this tendon inflammation, but he’s feeling better and he’ll improve. He is available and he’ll go on the bench.
“Alex Sandro feels better, he has trained with the team, but I don’t think he will be involved. We have Daniele Rugani who is fit. Leonardo Bonucci is improving and will join the team on Wednesday.
“Paul Pogba has partially trained with the team. From Wednesday, he will stay with the team more and work to improve his shape.”