Massimiliano Allegri provided an update on the health of his Juventus squad following the international break and highlighted what he wants from the team in the final stages of this season.



April will be a decisive month for the Bianconeri, both on and off the pitch. For Allegri and his players, they’ll face Sporting in the Europa League quarter-finals and play out the first leg of the Coppa Italia semi-finals against Inter, whilst also fighting hard to recover ground in the Serie A table.

Off the pitch, Juventus’ appeal against their 15-point deduction will be heard by CONI’s Collegio di Garanzia on April 19, a decision that’ll have a huge impact on their season. Reversal of the FIGC’s penalty will shoot them up to second in the table, whilst rejection of their appeal will mean that they could miss out on Champions League qualification.

Speaking in a press conference, Allegri first discussed his plans for the Juventus defence in their clash with Hellas Verona.

“I still have to decide, Alex Sandro has been out for three weeks and on Tuesday we have an important game in the Coppa Italia, so I’ll have to assess the whole line-up tomorrow morning.”

He was asked about the condition on Federico Chiesa and the rest of his forward line.

“Chiesa is very calm because he is not called up, he always has this discomfort. Today he worked well but under the pain threshold, we’re working to have him fully available on Tuesday.

“Vlahovic is back well, Milik is better, Kean the same. Soulé did well in Milan, Di Maria is back and will be available. It’s important to have them all, they give me the possibility to change and rotate.

“The substitutions will be even more important, we’re heading towards the end of the season where we only have nine games in April and we’ll get to the final goal of playing 58 games.”

He did not seem hopeful when discussing Paul Pogba, who has missed almost the entirety of this season through injury.

“At the moment I can’t say when he will be available again. He’s working, at the moment it’s difficult to say. The adductor is fine, let’s see training after training how the knee will react.”

The Italian coach gave his thoughts on youngster Nicolo Fagioli.

“He’s grown a lot, he still has to do it because he’s only at the beginning. I spoke to him because there’s a lot of talk about him at the moment, but this is an important moment for him.

“It’s important for him to keep his feet firmly planted on the ground and not go after these rumours of exaltation. We must neither get excited nor depressed, we must have a balance to finish well at the end of the season.”

Allegri spoke about his expectations for his squad in the final stages of this season.

“Let’s say I talked to the guys, today’s training gave me a good feeling. We haven’t done anything so far.

“The month of April could give us the chance to have an important May, to be able to reach the finals of the Coppa Italia and for the Europa League, which is still a long way off because we are in the quarter-finals.

“In the league we need to score 56 points, we need to consolidate this second place on the pitch that we’ve earned so far. We have to improve on last year’s points tally. In football you erase what you have done and tomorrow we start from 0-0.

“We can’t think that we won in Milan and everything was solved, victories must be enjoyed and we have had a week with great enthusiasm, at the same time tomorrow is a dangerous game.

Verona attack, they play all-out, we struggled there, teams playing against them always find it difficult and you have to match them.

“As the game goes on, if we are at that level there the qualities will come out. We have to switch, a period after Milan is over and now another one begins with other goals.”

He commented on his concerns with this busy schedule for April, where Juventus will play nine games.

“The only one is trying to win as many games as possible to have a wonderful May. This is the schedule and we have to manage it in the best possible way.

“In the meantime, we have recovered all the players except Bonucci, Pogba and Kaio and Chiesa tomorrow, but that’s a matter of two days.

“We’re heading towards a beautiful but tiring end to the season, we need to have great enthusiasm because being able to play important matches in April is a great satisfaction.”

The Bianconeri coach provided updates on Filip Kostic and Angel Di Maria.

“Kostic’s back and he’s fine, he did all the training except the first one, which he did separately. He can play tomorrow.

“Di Maria will hardly start, he came back yesterday. He’s fine because he had a good training session today, but he’ll be an asset in the game.”

He commented on the usage of young talents this season and if any will start against Verona.

“I still have to decide. For sure, with Paredes and Rabiot disqualified, that leaves Miretti, Barrenechea, Locatelli and Fagioli. With Soulé who can also be an additional midfielder. Of these, three will play.

“They have been with the first team for a long time. They have played many games. It turns out that in Juventus these boys played over 4,000 minutes. Important data above all for the future of the team, in addition to these let’s not forget that Vlahovic and Kean are just 23.

“Then Gatti, who arrived from Frosinone. Juve has youth, quality, otherwise they would not play, and a future. With others out in Serie A who are owned by Juventus.”

Finally, Allegri was asked to weigh in on the work of Moise Kean this season.

“He has improved a lot, both mentally and technically. He has specific characteristics, in this last year I am very happy. I think his season is underestimated, he scored goals and put in good performances.

“Then he did a foolish thing against Roma, which he paid with a fine. I always say that every day you have to come to the centre to improve, that depends on ambition. I’m happy with what Kean is doing.”

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