Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Allegri confident Juve can afford to rest players

SoccerNews in Serie A 9 Sep 2016

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Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri is confident the depth of his squad will allow him to rest players against “difficult” opponents Sassuolo in Serie A.

Ahead of the clash against his former team in Turin, the Juve manager confirmed a number of changes to his side, with Dani Alves and Andrea Barzagli to sit out while Stephan Lichtsteiner starts.

Gonzalo Higuain and Juan Cuadrado are both likely to feature and Allegri is delighted he has the option to rest key men with a busy schedule ahead.

“It’s an important contest for us, we need three points now because we’re about to step into a seven-game cycle including two Champions League matches,” he told a press conference on Friday.

“Everyone has a possibility of playing because we’ll need to keep a high level of intensity, and you can’t do that with the same players every three days. Everyone’s in a good condition and I have a squad of great quality. We’ll see who’s going to play tomorrow.

“In football everything is possible, and we changed five or six players per game at times last season. Of course the team must find its balance.”

Allegri foresees a tough test against Sassuolo, though, with no suggestion that he is taking Juve’s opponents lightly, regardless of his team selection.

“Sassuolo have always made things difficult for Juventus in the past few years,” he added. “The games have always been closely contested, they’re a reality of Italian football.

“This year they have the opportunity of giving it a shot in Europe, and I wish them all the best because they are a team I’m very fond of, as I am of president [Giorgio] Squinzi.”

Allegri guided Sassuolo into Serie B during his lone season in charge in 2007-08.

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