As the 2022-23 campaign draws to a close, there’s a midweek round of games to be played between today and tomorrow, starting with Juventus hosting Lecce. The Bianconeri sit in third place one point behind Lazio, while their opponents are not completely safe from the relegation battle with a handful of sides trying to avoid being the third team for the drop.
Speaking during his pre-match press conference, coach Massimiliano Allegri started with an injury report on Argentine Angel Di Maria who was not in the squad for Sunday’s draw at Bologna.
“Di Maria feels better, he no longer feels pain in his ankle and tomorrow he could be involved. We expect a lot from him and the others. Of course, Di Maria can make the difference in a game.”
With bigger games on the horizon, the coach will rotate to keep his starters fresh.
“Adrien Rabiot played well in Bologna, but he will probably rest in the next match.
“Bremer needed to rest [against Bologna]. This is the first season he plays a game every three days. It’s not always easy, but tomorrow he’ll be back. I think Alex Sandro will rest [against Lecce] because he’s played a lot so we need fresh energy.
“Six games are remaining, we still have a little advantage, we are one point behind Lazio and reaching them must be our target.”
Nicolò Fagioli got his first Juventus goal in the reverse fixture earlier in the season, but has been culpable for a couple of goals conceded as well as some glaring misses recently.
“He has to improve, like any footballer. Every footballer must work to improve until the end of their career. Fagioli has improved a lot. I replaced him against Bologna not because he deserved it, but because I needed players with different characteristics. He had played a good game.”
April was a pretty miserable month for the Bianconeri with only two wins all month long and the club getting dumped out of the Coppa Italia.
“We had won many games in February and March. We were involved in three competitions until last week, which means the season is going well.
“Of course, Juventus need victories. I don’t want to repeat what I said the other day, but there isn’t only one [team] winning in sports. It’s impossible to win and lose at all times. We’ve lost many times lately, so our target is to win tomorrow.”
Midfielder Manuel Locatelli seems to have overcome a midseason blip in his performances.
“He played an excellent game in Bologna. Then again, players can’t be at their best in every game.
“Manuel is always available for the team, even when he doesn’t have a good day technically, defensively he is always there.”
Allegri was also asked about the futures of Di Maria and Rabiot.
“I don’t know because we’ll think about next season when it all stops.
“Right now, we don’t know if we’ll play in the Champions League, which is the key to planning. We must only focus on what we have to do, there are 30 days remaining to the end of the season, so we need to be focused, and then the club will make their assessments.”