Juventus boss Massimiliano Allegri wants his side to bring 2015 to a close in perfect style – beginning with the derby clash against Torino in the Coppa Italia last 16.
The Serie A champions fought from a goal down to beat Fiorentina 3-1 on Sunday – their sixth league win in a row – and move to within six points of leaders Inter.
Juve’s form in recent weeks has taken a remarkable upturn since their dismal start to the campaign, in which they won just two of their opening seven matches in all competitions, and they remain in the hunt to defend their domestic double and go one better than last season’s runners-up finish in the Champions League.
With the Coppa holders ending the calendar year with Wednesday’s clash against their city rivals and an away trip to Carpi in Serie A on Sunday, Allegri is hoping that they sign off 2015 in style in order to keep their trophy hopes alive.
“We’re going through a good moment. We’ve got the derby and then Carpi, we need to win to maintain things,” he told Sky Sport Italia.
“We’re playing pretty well, but there is still room for improvement.”
Torino themselves have been on a strong run since losing to Inter in early November, having won three times in a row before their draw with Roma on December 5, though the weekend clash with Sassuolo was called off due to poor weather conditions.
Giampiero Ventura’s men saw off Cesena 4-1 in the previous round and will be desperate to avenge their dramatic defeat to their city rivals earlier this season, when Juan Cuadrado’s late goal snatched a 2-1 win at Juventus Stadium.
Juve are hoping that midfielder Robert Pereyra could be fit after missing 10 games with a muscle problem, but Hernanes (thigh) is unlikely to be risked and Kwadwo Asamoah and Mario Lemina (both knee) are expected to be out.
Tests on Monday confirmed Marco Benassi (thigh) will be forced to miss the clash for Torino, while Gaston Silva, Joel Obi (both hamstring), Nikola Maksimovic (foot) and Alexander Farnerud (knee) are out.
Bruno Peres is serving a one-game ban in Serie A but is free to return to the side for the Coppa clash.
The two sides have been separated by just one goal in each of their last five encounters, with Juve winning four of those.
Torino ended a 20-year wait to beat their city rivals last season, when Fabio Quagliarella scored the winning goal in a 2-1 victory in April, but Juve’s record stands at a formidable 14 wins in the last 19 encounters.