The Bianconeri have started 2023 in decent fashion, winning all but three of their league outings as they work to climb back up the Serie A table following their 15-point deduction.
Allegri’s side also put one foot in the quarter-finals of the Europa League after their first leg win over SC Freiburg, allowing them to save a little face following their disastrous Champions League campaign in the first half of the season.
Speaking in a press conference, Allegri first discussed the pitfalls facing Juventus in their upcoming clash with Sampdoria.
“On the surface it looks easy, but Sampdoria’s recent results can be deceiving, they have always lost by a narrow margin.
“Tomorrow is a very important match for the league table, for the first time we can go second by going three points above Inter.”
He was asked about midfielder Paul Pogba, who did not join the squad for the Freiburg win after reportedly arriving late to training.
“Pogba is available, it’s not that he was late and didn’t play on Thursday so he’ll stay out. I don’t know the starting lineup yet, but two will certainly play, there is the return of Perin and then the striker, Vlahovic.”
The Italian coach commented on how he might line up his defence.
“I haven’t decided yet, I have to assess Bonucci’s recovery, Danilo’s condition, Bremer. Then I’ll decide. There’s also Rugani and Gatti ready to play. If I decide to play them, there would be no problem.
“De Sciglio and Iling are back. Milik, we hope to have him with Inter, Chiesa out tomorrow but hopefully Thursday. Di Maria is resting and will be available on Thursday.”
He was asked if he would change anything from a tactical point of view.
“It’s the characteristics of the players that are different, it’s not the number of forwards. We have Compagnon with us from the Next Gen, if we need him he will be useful.
“It’s important that the team understands the importance of the match, knowing that Sampdoria are a well-organised team that run and press all over the pitch.”
Allegri spoke about the health of star striker Dusan Vlahovic.
“Dusan has fully recovered. On Thursday I took him off, Di Maria was doing well, and Chiesa could have been a weapon. Dusan would have been the only forward. Happy with his performance.
“Physically he’s much better. I’m very confident. Players go through moments like that, especially forwards who are judged by their goals. I believe that technically he played good games.”
He touched on the importance of the next seven days for the Bianconeri.
“More than decisive it’s important, we have to be aware of tomorrow night’s game because the league finish is made with the smaller teams. On these sides you must not make mistakes and tomorrow is a very risky game.”
The Juventus coach was asked about the impact of the point deduction on him and the squad.
“It is neither an obstacle nor a source of motivation. Us on the pitch must score the points we need. Winning the league is difficult, but we are in a position to take a piece of the advantage tomorrow. Then I repeat, what happens outside should not interest us.”
He touched on where Nicolo Fagioli could improve.
“We all had confidence in him, I didn’t imagine him to be so mature. I think he needs to improve in the scoring phase, he can score a few more goals.”
Finally, Allegri spoke about Leonardo Bonucci and if he could start against Juventus.
“Football is strange, my idea was to play him as a starter tomorrow, but he had to come on for Alex Sandro. Tomorrow morning I’ll see, if he’s well he could play from the start.”