Max Allegri wants Juventus to focus on Genoa and keep putting together victories as they are “forced to chase the hare Napoli whizzing ahead.”
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The Coach started off with some bad news, as Gigi Buffon is out of action and that means he cannot beat Paolo Maldini’s all-time Serie A appearance record.
“Gigi will be at our disposal next week and return to being the starter. Fortunately, Wojciech Szczesny has done great work during this period.”
If Buffon wants the record, should he carry on playing beyond this season?
“I’m in no position to give advice to Gigi, I’m sure he knows what to do. He is a player now and needs to focus on the present, not what he might do in June.”
Napoli visit Atalanta today and Juventus are only one point behind the leaders, so is it an advantage to play after the Partenopei?
“I don’t see it as an advantage. The only advantage any team can have is winning games. If Napoli continue to win, they will always be a point ahead of us. We can do nothing other than keep winning.
“We know that for the Scudetto, we’ll have to do something extraordinary, because Napoli have 51 points and we’ve already put together two more points than at this stage last season. Juve are having a strong campaign, but Napoli are like the hare whizzing ahead and right now we’re forced to chase.
“We need to stay calm and be patient, because the moment of truth will be in the head-to-head clashes coming up in April. That is where we must be on our best form.
“It’s important to resume where we left off, because this year we haven’t done well after Serie A breaks, losing to Lazio and Sampdoria. Genoa have kept four clean sheets in a row and conceded only three since David Ballardini took over.
“They defend very well, have good quality in midfield and are very strong on set plays. We’ll certainly have to suffer tomorrow, but what counts is bringing home the three points. We have to win, even if it’ll be very difficult.”
Buffon isn’t the only player out injured, as Paulo Dybala, Juan Cuadrado, Claudio Marchisio and Benedikt Howedes are also sidelined.
“Mattia De Sciglio is available and ready to play. Cuadrado needs to be evaluated on a daily basis, because he has this inflammation that keeps flaring up.
“I have a doubt between Douglas Costa and Federico Bernardeschi to start. At the back, it’s between Andrea Barzagli, De Sciglio or Stephan Lichtsteiner. I don’t have many other choices to make, unless I use two midfielders and all four forwards, but that might be unwise!
“Daniele Rugani had gastroenteritis for a couple of days, but he’s recovered now and he’s fine.”
Allegri also missed a couple of days of training this week due to flu symptoms.
“We’re all coming back from 15 days without games, so we need to play this match with intelligence, with our minds first and legs second.”
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