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Allegri: Juventus not prioritising Champions League

Massimiliano Allegri insists Juventus are not prioritising the Champions League over winning a sixth consecutive Scudetto.

Juve defender Leonardo Bonucci said this week that Europe’s elite club competition was “undoubtedly our objective”, but the head coach is not keen to sacrifice any tournament in favour of another.

The Italian champions have won five of their opening six league games to top the early season table and travel to play 19th-placed Empoli in the first of eight Serie A games to be played on Sunday.

“We are taking part in every competition with the objective to win it, not putting them in a certain order,” Allegri said at his pre-match media conference.

“The important thing is we cannot have the wrong attitude on Sunday and the players know full well if they get it wrong with Empoli, they will ruin their own break for international duty and above all ruin that of the coach. Trust me, they don’t want to do that!

“This game reminds of the one we had at Carpi last season [a 3-2 win last December in which Allegri fumed on the touchline] and it ended with some heart flutters because we risked throwing everything away and ruining the comeback. 

“The boys know just how crucial the Empoli game is and how important it is to win the game. They cannot underestimate it.

“I am glad that in the Champions League against Dinamo Zagreb we played with much more quality and pace than at Palermo, so there were improvements.”

Allegri thinks Empoli will give Juve a stern examination despite their lowly position in the table, which is down to a record of just four points from a possible 18.

He continued: “It is a tricky game due to the unusual early kick-off time and Empoli’s good recent performances.

“They lost to Inter and Lazio, but played well and didn’t deserve defeat, especially last weekend.

“Everyone here is giving their all to the group. We are together now for 40 days and getting to know each other better.

“We need to keep improving our style of play throughout the season.

“I will be happy if at the end of the game Juventus have picked up three points. To do that, we need a quality performance in both attack and defence.”

Sat 1 Oct, 2016
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