Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri has confirmed that Federico Chiesa is not ready to feature against Empoli tomorrow but will play a friendly on Saturday. The Bianconeri have been boosted by the return to training of both Chiesa and Paul Pogba earlier this week, but neither player is ready to play just yet. Speaking in his pre-match presser, Allegri confirmed the current status of the squad and individual players:
What did the victory against Torino give the team?
“It was a good victory, I think deserved against a good team. For it to become important we need to follow it up tomorrow with Empoli.”
Will Gatti play tomorrow?
“Today we do training and I will have to evaluate some situations, there are players who have played so many games. The team is better, also mentally because the victory has given us more serenity and more morale. Our mood always depends on the results, the more we win the better we feel after the game. Tomorrow will not be easy.”
Can Vlahovic rest?
“Dusan against Torino, regardless of the goal, played one of the best games on a technical level. Kean also did well, I’m happy with Moise because he’s growing, he’s better physically and above all he makes himself available for the team. To get results you need availability from everyone, on this there seem to be good signs. Tomorrow will not be easy, by the way, they beat us last year.”
Chiesa and Pogba how are they?
“Let’s see the reality: the reality of today is that Chiesa and Pogba are not available. Chiesa has had two training sessions with the team, Pogba has trained momentarily, partially, but very partially with the team. Avoid writing all that stuff you do, you have live in a fantasy. Players who have not even trained with the team, and you write that after two days they are available. Fantasy is in power and it is very nice. Tomorrow they will not be there.”
How is Paredes? Is he starting tomorrow?
“I have to evaluate because McKennie is coming from 11 games back-to-back…..I have to evaluate whether to play again with McKennie, Rabiot and Locatelli or Paredes or change something by moving one to another side. We have tomorrow, we have Tuesday which is very important. Tomorrow is difficult because Empoli are fast, technical and engage you physically. To be able to beat Empoli you definitely have to catch up with them. So it’s normal that then in the long run the values emerges, otherwise we’ll hit our snouts again.”
Not everyone will be available for Benfica – How has this week been in terms of regaining some strength?
“I too would like everyone to be available, especially to give changes. With the ones we have we will have a great game tomorrow and prepare well for Benfica. Chiesa has already made progress, on Saturday morning there will be a friendly for Federico to see how he moves around the field, the tightness. Paul has momentarily done some partial work with the team, but it’s Thursday and Tuesday is four days away. Paul hasn’t done serious training since July 23, we need to give him time, rushing to have him one game earlier and prejudicing the work is pure madness.”
Is Milik back from the start tomorrow or should he still be managed?
“It’s not management, we have so many games. There are also post Covid figures that for intensity of running compared to those during Covid are totally different, all the more reason that whoever is on the bench becomes decisive.”
Is the group’s choice to put themselves in a circle at the end of the game an indication from you?
“No absolutely, its group stuff, I just give technical-tactical and behavior directions that is the most important thing.”
What do you mean by different data post Covid?
“Last year and this year from what I understand, high intensity games have increased. Football in Italy has changed, it has become more man-to-man and the intensity of the game is raised. During Covid it was a different, abnormal soccer where the stadiums were empty, the pressures were not there. Now it’s moving back toward normal, in fact if I’m not mistaken 60 fewer goals have been scored. And what does that mean? It depends on how you see it: Italian soccer has less quality or otherwise there is more attention to the defensive phase, full stadiums give a different focus. These are data that however, compared to what it was before, say something different. Normal that we are moving back toward normality.”
Did you make a prediction of points at the top and in fourth place?
“For the first time I didn’t make any. A light bulb has gone on for me now: after 10 games there are teams at the bottom of the standings that have scored few goals and others that have scored more. At the moment for us the crucial week was Salernitana-Monza.”
Bonucci’s management? What role does he play in the team?
“Leonardo is the captain of the team, he is a personality player and like all the others he has to be managed. He is important both when he is playing and when he is not playing. In your twenties you have some strengths, in your thirties, some others, it is a normal path. But it applies to everyone. I am fortunate to have six defenders and I can rotate them, in other roles, momentarily we lack, I have fewer alternatives and I have to ask for an effort. Leo is a responsible man, whether he plays or not he is an added value to the team.”
In terms of goal difference are you predictions being followed?
“We have conceded 7 goals and are pretty much in line on the defensive end. We are missing points that we lost to Salernitana and Monza, these things are in the past and we have to look forward.”
How is Miretti?
“He is better, he has played many games since the beginning of the season not having a preparation because he played with the national team and joined with the team on August 2. He is better, he has played important and normal games with no small physical and mental expenditure. So has Fagioli who is growing, Soulé too. When there is a chance I play them because they are considered players by and of the first team, they are no longer young.”