NEWS
Tuesday March 13 2018
Allegri: ’Scudetto race far from over’

Juventus Coach Massimiliano Allegri warns Napoli still “have a great chance to win the Scudetto”.

The Bianconeri have overtaken Maurizio Sarri’s side at the top of Serie A, and they can extend their lead to four points if they win tomorrow’s game in hand against Atalanta.

Traditionally when the Old Lady takes the lead they don’t drop off, but the tactician has warned his players not to let up.

“Let’s see tomorrow, we’ve been in the lead for only a few days so we have to be good at not dropping the bone,” Allegri cautioned in his pre-match Press conference.

“We have to take it one step at a time because Napoli are there, they have a great chance to win the Scudetto because there’s still a head-to-head match.

“We have a lot of difficult matches, so we need to think about what will happen tomorrow, we need to bring home three points.

“Atalanta are one of the teams that always cause us the most problems physically, as well as technically.

“After that we’ll see, we have a game on Saturday but in the meantime we’ll try to take some points tomorrow because Napoli are absolutely not cut adrift for the Scudetto, right now they’re only a point behind.

"I repeat, I've said it and I'll repeat it again, you only do the count when the farmers come in.

"You have to take things one step at a time because it's useless to go beyond that. Let's try to deal with the game tomorrow, win it and prepare for Saturday, then we'll have a few well-earned rest days.

"As for what Sarri said, I've got nothing to say because I don't comment on what other people say.

"What I can say and keep saying is that I think he should be really proud of what he's done with Napoli in recent years.

"He's made Napoli play in a really beautiful way, with really spectacular moments. They've been top of the League and now they have the chance to fight to the end with Juventus.

"We know it's hard to get to the end and win, so you need to keep your head down, we can't get excited if we win tomorrow, because the League... the League is absolutely not over, the numbers speak for themselves.

"Napoli have 69 points [a journalist clarifies that it's 70]... 70? Right, they have 70 and so they can reach 100. So at the moment the Scudetto quota is 100. So there's still a long way to go.

"Napoli have the ability to win all their matches, as Sarri has rightly said, and they'll try to win them all.

"So it'll be very difficult for us, not least because thanks to the merit of the lads we're still in all three competitions."

Allegri also gave an update on the injury situation, with Mario Mandzukic in contention for a starting spot after coming off the bench against Udinese.

“We’ll see, as far as the injured players are concerned the ones who aren’t available are [Juan] Cuadrado and [Federico] Bernardeschi.

“We’ll see for Alex Sandro, who was a bit fatigued yesterday so I’ll evaluate him today. All the others are fine.

“I’ll decide who to send on to the pitch for tomorrow’s match, the only one who will definitely be back in tomorrow is [Gianluigi] Buffon.

“Then the others I’ll have to see today, not least because we have another match on Saturday. But right now we’re only thinking about tomorrow.

“Will Blaise Matuidi and Miralem Pjanic be back? Matuidi had three games one after the other after his return, which was earlier than expected.

“As for Pjanic, he’ll 99.9 per cent be back tomorrow.

“Every game against Atalanta is difficult, because they have a team of players who are all equal and have very precise characteristics.

“Tomorrow we have to show great respect to Atalanta, just as the team showed great respect for Udinese.

“We need to bring home the three points with a technical, tactical and above all physical match.”

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