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Allegri warns Juventus of presumption trap

Coach’s comments as Juve prepare for trip to Lecce

Juventus Training Session Photo by Daniele Badolato - Juventus FC/Juventus FC via Getty Images

Juventus return to action this weekend with an away game at 13th placed Lecce, with an opportunity to leapfrog Inter Milan into the league lead with the current leaders away in the Middle East playing for the Supercoppa Italiana.

Speaking during his pre-match press conference, coach Massimiliano Allegri gave a squad update first.

“The team are good, they had a good training session yesterday. Tomorrow there’ll be no Adrien Rabiot and Federico Chiesa. Rabiot has a calf strain, while Federico had a flare-up of his knee problem and will be evaluated in the next few days.

“We don’t have those two players available, but we have some to play tomorrow. We’ll evaluate Rabiot, the calf is a very risky area. For Chiesa, the doctors will evaluate him.”

The coach does not want to take tomorrow’s opponents lightly.

“It’s always complicated to play in Lecce, uncomfortable matches occur. They’re a team that create and defend very well, and in the last four home games they’ve always achieved results.”

Rumours abound that Moise Kean could be leaving the club this month, likely on loan.

“I spoke to him to find out how he is, he starts running again tomorrow. The sporting director takes care of the transfer market.”

Allegri was asked about the improvements Dusan Vlahovic has made.

“Dusan has grown a lot on the pitch and the way he plays matches, he is calmer. A step forward that he is taking towards complete maturity.”

Did he feel Juve would be difficult to catch if they assumed the lead in the Scudetto race.

“Now let’s talk about going top of the table… They are three important points, there are still many missing at the top of the table. Inter are a strong team and are the favourites. Let’s get the points first.

“Growth path, they are doing well, the team have self-esteem, we’re physically well. But winning is complicated. Because in Lecce it’s always difficult.”

When asked to expound, he added -

“There are some horses that need blinkers and others that don’t. The difference is that for some it bothers them having a horse near and maybe they slow down. Juve don’t have blinkers, the other day I liked how the team played the match with confidence.

“What has been done up to now counts for nothing, it matters tomorrow evening. Football thrives on balance, if you don’t get a result one week, you can ruin the season.”

Juve are through to the semi-finals in the cup, with a two-legged date against Lazio.

“We are halfway through the season, we have an important objective and we have a Coppa Italia to play.

“In April it’s always good in Rome, it’s sunny, it’s wonderful. Step by step, we’re thinking about improving, without falling into presumption.”