Massimiliano Allegri has called on Juventus to prove they are a great side by bouncing back from Wednesday’s punishing Champions League exit at Bayern Munich by winning the Turin derby against Torino in Serie A.
Allegri’s men appeared on course to record a major last-16 upset when they surged into a 2-0 lead on the night and a 4-2 aggregate advantage at the Allianz Arena thanks to first-half goals from Paul Pogba and Juan Cuadrado.
That scoreline remained until Robert Lewandowski reduced the arrears in the 73rd minute and Thomas Muller’s last-gasp equaliser set up Bayern for a stunning 4-2 extra-time triumph.
The result marked a rare setback for Juve, who have not lost a Serie A game since October and lead Napoli at the summit by three points.
“To become great you need to pull through moments like the Bayern game, accept the blows and come out fighting,” Allegri told his pre-match news conference.
“We mustn’t allow the Champions League exit to knock us off our stride. No looking back – Wednesday’s result can’t be changed, Derby Della Mole is another step towards lifting the title.
“We’re in good physical shape after Wednesday. Psychologically speaking we do need to recharge our batteries.
“I will make the odd change to the team that played in Munich but I still need to work out my line-up.”
Allegri will welcome back star forward Paulo Dybala from a calf injury, but midfielder Claudio Marchisio and Giorgio Chiellini are still laid low with similar complaints.
“The amount of game remaining won’t matter on Sunday, all that counts is the Derby Della Mole,” Allegri added.
“It [the title race] is all in our own hands. We’ve got a three-point lead but there is still a long way to go.
“We must be focused on lifting a fifth consecutive title, doing so by taking one game at a time.”