Juventus take on Frosinone tomorrow in their Coppa Italia quarter final in a game that will mark coach Massimiliano Allegri’s 400th in charge of the Bianconeri, and now just five behind Marcello Lippi but still well off Giovanni Trappatoni’s 596 mark.
“I’m really happy to make 400 games with Juventus behind legends like Giovanni Trappatoni, who was my coach at Cagliari and Marcello Lippi. It is a great honour.
“When I arrived, I didn’t think I would spend eight years at Juventus. I am proud of it, but we must look ahead and we must qualify for the semi-final. I’ve learned here that we must focus on what happens next and not on the past.”
What would Allegri have done differently if he went back in time during his five and then three year spells?
“I wouldn’t even cancel one game. In football, there are challenges every day, especially with the Champions League.
“That’s what we live and work for. I miss not playing it this season. We have played many important games in eight years. I remember all of them with pleasure, even when we were losing 3-0 against Genoa after 27 minutes.”
Federico Chiesa did not play in the last-gasp win over Salernitana with a knee ailment and is not available tomorrow either.
“He won’t play because he’s not called up. The knee keeps improving and if it all goes to plan, he will surely be available on Tuesday [against Sassuolo].
Andrea Cambiaso is fit. Rabiot, Mattia De Sciglio and Moise Kean are out and the others are available.”
Kenan Yildiz’s rise to stardom could eclipse Moise Kean, with rumours that Fiorentina, Bologna and Monza are all interested in a January loan for the Italian international.
“I won’t talk about transfers because we have a game tomorrow and because directors Giovanni Manna and Cristiano Giuntoli are in charge of it.
“I’m not entitled to say the best destination [for Kean]. Currently, he is a Juventus player, and I’m happy with what he’s done in the first part of the season, even if he’s been out for a few days now.”
Allegri provided more of a squad update and what he had in mind for his team selection for tomorrow’s game, with the note that he didn’t think Cambiaso would be starting given he was still returning from the flu.
“I still haven’t decided. Gatti and Bremer will play. I’ll pick one between Rugani and Danilo. Perin will play and Locatelli returns.
“I’ll see how everyone feels tomorrow. Weah or Kostic will start. Or Iling and Kostic, Cambiaso can also play in central midfield. The most important thing is that everyone’s fit because substitutions will be crucial.
“Rabiot should be available on Tuesday. We’ll see but there are good chances.”
As far as tomorrow’s opponents, Allegri (as he usually does) preached caution.
“We’ll play against a team that scored twice in the last game despite being three goals down and could have equalised.
“It’s a unique chance for them to reach the semis and beat Juventus, so tomorrow, we need commitment, and we must respect the opponent. The Coppa Italia is an important target for Juventus. Frosinone score in every game and cause trouble, so we have to put in a high-level performance. We have been conceding goals too easily; the guys are aware of it, and we are working on this.”