NEWS
Saturday January 30 2016
Allegri: 'Juve respect Chievo'

Max Allegri assured Juventus “cannot lower the concentration levels” against Chievo and welcomed Roberto Pereyra back.

It kicks off on Sunday at 11.30 GMT, click here for a match preview.

The Bianconeri are one match off equalling Antonio Conte’s record of 12 consecutive Serie A victories.

“I am interested in the fact there are another 17 rounds to go this season. We can win eight in a row, but if we don’t get the necessary points to win the Scudetto, then it’s all irrelevant,” said the Coach in a Press conference.

“Chievo play a very organised and smart style of football, so it certainly will not be easy.

“Leo Bonucci will play, Giorgio Chiellini I’ll decide tomorrow, Martin Caceres recovered pretty well from the Coppa Italia, Andrea Barzagli and Daniele Rugani are fine. It’s good to finally have a choice of defenders.

“We’ve lost Mario Mandzukic and Kwadwo Asamoah. Hopefully Mandzukic can recover for Bayern Munich, if not he’ll be in the second leg. There’s no point signing a striker just for the sake of it. Hopefully he’ll be back within a month.

“Alvaro Morata found his goal and took great responsibility to convert a penalty, but over the last couple of weeks you could see in training he was back in shape and more confident in front of goal.

“I have to use the players most suited to the game. Simone Zaza has the best goals per game average, with Mandzukic out it’s natural there will be more room for the others to compete for his spot.

“The last minute signing we’ve got is Pereyra, as he is called up and at our disposal. He is a very attacking midfielder, so with him we have other tactical options too.

“There is competition for places, so if someone doesn’t deliver in one match, he risks being left out the next.

“We cannot have distractions, especially as we are two points behind Napoli. In fact, this’ll be the first time – as we play earlier – that we can temporarily overtake Napoli and go top of the table.

“We must respect Chievo, just as Genoa and then Frosinone. In order to be top of the table we have to notch up a certain number of points. We look at tomorrow’s game as a victory that needs to be achieved.

“I have very responsible lads and all our objectives are very clear. I doubt it’d be possible for us to lower the concentration level.

“What happens on the pitch will say if we deserve to win tomorrow, but what we cannot do is get the approach wrong.”

Allegri is continually asked about links with the Premier League jobs at Chelsea and Manchester United. Will he 100 per cent be the Juve Coach next season?

“You have to ask the club that! I have a contract, but Juventus could fire me tomorrow! We have to be focused on the task at hand and not what is written in the papers. We’re in the Scudetto race, the Coppa Italia semi-final and it’d be nice to reach the Champions League Final again – even better to win it.”

Juventus crushed Inter 3-0 in the Coppa Italia semi-final on Wednesday, so are they still in the title race?

“Let’s not forget you said that same about Juventus a couple of months ago! We have to see everything with balance, Juve played a great game against a good Inter and we mustn’t just assume it’s all the fault of one team or credit to another.”