The Bianconeri begin the season at home tomorrow, hosting Alessio Dionisi’s side at the Allianz Stadium in Turin.
It kicks off at 19.45 UK time.
Allegri didn’t want to discuss Juventus’ transfers during his pre-match press conference and insisted that his players must be humble and have the right commitment to collect all the three points in their season debut.
“The team has worked well this month. Sassuolo beat us at home last season, so we’ll need to put in a great performance. Of course, we still aren’t in our best shape, but it’s the first game at home, and the stadium will be sold out. Enthusiasm is needed from us and the fans,” the Tuscan tactician said.
“Adrien Rabiot and Moise Kean are out because they are suspended. It’s a situation to revise because they got a yellow card in the last game of the previous season and will miss the first one of the new campaign. It doesn’t only concern Juventus. One thing is a red card, another thing is to get five yellow cards in 38 games and miss the first game of a new season.”
Rabiot is in talks with Manchester United and Juventus have agreed to sell him for circa €17m, but Allegri didn’t discuss his transfer situation during today’s meeting with the media.
“Szczesny is recovering, Aké is injured, Pogba is working and hopefully, he will return soon. Same for Chiesa who will be at his best in January,” the coach continued.
“Arthur has an ankle problem and for this reason, he didn’t join us in the USA. There are also transfer rumours so he is not available. Kaio [Jorge] has a problem at his knee, Weston McKennie is available.
“I understand the fans after some highs and lows. We played against three great clubs in the pre-season, Barcelona, Real Madrid and Atletico. It didn’t end well [4-0 loss to Atletico], but such a defeat could be good and make us focus. I’ve heard too much triumphalism. Juventus are a team that must aim to win the title, like every year.”
Juventus finished fourth in the last two seasons, but despite this summer’s reinforcements, Allegri believes they are not title favourites.
“This season, we have two targets to achieve by the break in November. Be among the top four to be able to complete for the title in the second part of the campaign and qualify for the Champions League Round of 16. We have 21 games, so we must do well.
“The club worked well, replacing those who left. Last season was good, we can’t win only because we are called Juventus. It doesn’t work like this. There is a generational change. Last season we finished 16 points behind Milan, we need patience and work to get there. We must aim for the title, knowing that there are other teams that last season were better than us. It’s simple and in life, we must be practical.”
What kind of performance does he expect from his players tomorrow?
“We’ll suffer like in every game. We must respect the opponent, which is the secret of every winning team. We must do well when we have the ball and when we don’t have it. We conceded eight goals in three games and it’s something we must improve.
“Sassuolo come from a bad defeat in Coppa Italia against Modena, they’ve just signed an important player such as Andrea Pinamonti, it’s never easy to face them. They are dangerous and are technically valid. We’ll need a great performance tomorrow.”
Dusan Vlahovic hasn’t scored in the pre-season, how is the Serbian striker training at Continassa?
“Vlahovic is well. He has returned after a problem he had at the end of last season. Patience is needed, but he is improving now, he has everything to have a great season and for sure, he’ll have it.”
Is Allegri considering switching to a three-man defence and what’s the best position for Angel Di Maria?
“I don’t remember the last time I defended with three players, maybe I can use three defenders when building up from the back. I’ve always used a four-man defence. The poor Andrea Barzagli once told me: ‘Boss, I will retire, so I will no longer play as a right-back.’ I am happy with Bremer. He is an excellent player and wants to improve every day.
“Di Maria should be used for his characteristics. We must create the best conditions for him to deliver assists and link up with his teammates.”