After the disappointment of conceding a late equalizer against Inter Milan on Tuesday night, Juventus are back in action with a trip to the capital on Saturday to take on Lazio. The hosts are sitting comfortably in second place in the league, but are well aware that a reversal of the 15-point deduction for the Bianconeri will see the Turin side back as runners up with a comfortable four-point lead.
Coach Massimiliano Allegri addressed the pre-match press conference as normal, before it was announced that he would not making the trip as he was suffering from the flu.
“Lazio are having a great season, it’s a direct clash for second place. Maurizio Sarri has gone back to the beginning when his teams were characterised by great defences. It will be a complicated match.”
Would Dusan Vlahovic and Federico Chiesa start the game or be on the bench again?
“I haven’t decided anything yet, I’ll do it after training. I have to see Pogba and Bonucci who have worked with the team, I have to see who has recovered from Tuesday.
“Barrenechea and Iling won’t be there because they played with the Next Gen yesterday.
“Chiesa is better, he came on well the other day. Tomorrow I’ll have to decide, we have many games and I have to manage my strengths. In defence there will be a few changes.”
The fracas at the end of the Coppa Italia semi-final midweek saw punishments handed out to both sides with Juan Cuadrado being suspended for three games while Romelu Lukaku and Samir Handanovic got a game each.
“What happened in the locker room and on the pitch are bad things to see, both those on the pitch and those who came from upstairs.
“The most important thing is that within 24 hours Juventus has caught those who made racist insults, Juventus fights all types of discrimination.”
As happens regularly, Allegri was asked to comment on the treatment Juve are receiving from FIGC and CONI.
“There is no comment, there are the competent bodies that decide. We only have to think about playing, we must not get distracted. We must definitely be better at keeping calm. There’s little to say, Cuadrado got a three-game ban. For him the Coppa Italia is over.”
Finally, Allegri was asked why he and Sarri were sacked by Juventus following their respective Scudetto wins.
“Even I was not confirmed after winning the Scudetto. Maurizio is doing a great job, the thing he is doing very well is that the team is much more usual.
“Speaking for myself, at that moment there it was right to split up. Otherwise, we might not have found each other afterwards, life is full of combinations. Sometimes you have to let things go and be fatalistic.”