Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri has confirmed Paulo Dybala will not be fit to face AC Milan in Serie A on Saturday as the Argentine forward continues his recovery from a thigh strain.
Dybala picked up the problem in Juve’s 4-1 derby win at Torino on March 20 and, although the 20-year-old has resumed training, the trip to San Siro will arrive too soon for him to be involved.
Allegri, who will be going up against the team he coached to the Scudetto in 2010-11, insisted Milan, sixth in the table, deserve more respect as they struggle in their bid to qualify for European competition.
“This team has some important technical values, recognized by all,” he said of the Rossoneri, who are without a win in four Serie A matches.
“Milan is a good team, do not talk of a crisis. They are in the Coppa Italia final and [will] fight for Europe… it’s up to us to produce a great performance.”
Allegri had been frequently linked with the Chelsea job in recent months, but the Premier League club this week appointed Antonio Conte, his predecessor at Juve.
Conte, the Italy coach, will move to Stamford Bridge after his country’s involvement in Euro 2016 ends, with Allegri wishing his compatriot and colleague well.
“Envy is not part of my character,” he said.
“Conte will do well abroad and before that I hope he will do well with the national team. Italian coaches … are generally very well prepared [to succeed].”
Allegri, who is likely to select striker Mario Mandzukic and young defender Daniele Rugani against Milan, acknowledged it will be another emotional return to his former club after guiding Juve to a 1-0 win in the corresponding fixture at San Siro last season.
“I was there for three-and-a-half years, it comes down to personal relationships as well as professional. The same will be true for Juve, when I leave.”
Juve go into the game in first place, six points clear of nearest challengers Napoli, who are at home to Hellas Verona on Sunday.