NEWS
Saturday April 21 2018
Allegri: 'Decisive only for Napoli'

Massimiliano Allegri insists the Scudetto showdown in Turin is “decisive for Napoli, but not for Juventus” and Gonzalo Higuain will make the difference.

It kicks off on Sunday at 19.45 UK time (18.45 GMT), click here for a match preview.

You can read the entire Press conference as it happened on the LIVEBLOG.

“We’re in better psychological shape than Napoli. It’s very simple, tomorrow a mini-league begins of five games, we have a four-point advantage,” said the Coach.

“There are other points available to win the title. It’ll certainly be important for Serie A, but it won’t be decisive.”

Allegri was asked about reports Paulo Dybala could be dropped, in part because of a thigh injury.

“I haven’t yet decided the line-up. Dybala is in good shape, I don’t understand why he shouldn’t be. We’ve recovered almost everyone, so we are ready to take on tomorrow’s wonderful evening of sport with two teams who are creating a great title race and at the end of May, the best team will win.

“If Juventus are the best, we’ll finish first. If Napoli are the best, we’ll finish second and tip our hats to them.

“Juventus are having a very good season, we have 85 points and there are five rounds to go. On the other side, Napoli are having an equally important campaign, as they are on 81 points and can reach 96.

“It’s a football match, we’ll play it calmly. We know that we are facing a side that has been up there for the whole season. It’ll be very decisive for them, but we have a four-point advantage, so we know that we can get points elsewhere without problems.

“I have two or three doubts, but not just for the starting XI. It’s a long game, it’s important to have one or two options who can come off the bench and change the game.

“I have to decide whether to play with Dybala, without Dybala, or maybe I’ll wake up tomorrow morning and have some other idea out of nowhere. I have some ideas, but there’s a long way to go before tomorrow.

“I have to see how Andrea Barzagli is doing. Medhi Benatia played two games. The important thing is that everyone is at our disposal and I hope to choose the right players to have a good game.

“Gonzalo Higuain has these peaks and troughs over a season. He’s in great shape and I think tomorrow he will be decisive. Miralem Pjanic has recovered. Everyone is fine, except for Stefano Sturaro who has this tendon issue and Mattia De Sciglio with the sole of his foot, but otherwise everyone is ready for this wonderful evening of sport.

“We must be prepared not so much for tomorrow’s game, but these final few weeks of the season. It’s a big opportunity for us, as it will be against Inter, Roma and Bologna too. We’ve then got the Coppa Italia Final against Milan.

“It’s a wonderful end to the campaign and we must play with calm, as this team is accustomed to important matches, albeit aware we are facing a Napoli side that has picked up 81 points and had a series of great campaigns.

“We must play with cool heads, because it is far more decisive for Napoli than it is for us.”

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