Alvaro Morata has warned his Juventus team-mates they cannot afford to lose focus ahead of Saturday’s trip to Milan if they are to win the Serie A title this campaign.
The reigning champions have moved six points clear of second-placed Napoli with seven games to go after a disastrous start to the season.
Morata is quick to stress Juve have not won anything yet, though, and is adamant they must be on top of their game against Milan at the weekend.
“Milan are always tough opponents to face, especially at San Siro. It will be tough because they really need a win, especially at this moment in time,” Morata told Sky Sport.
“The league title has always been our aim. We didn’t begin the season well and have given all we’ve got to get back on the right track, but it doesn’t mean anything if we’re unable to lift the trophy at the end of the season.
“One off-day is all it would take for our rivals to close in, even Roma aren’t far off the pace. We’ve got a great chance of lifting the title, but only if we’re able to focus solely on ourselves. We must consider every game a final.”
Milan, meanwhile, are battling for Europa League football and desperately need the full three points against Juventus if they are to stay clear of Sassuolo and maintain sixth place.
Sinisa Mihajlovic’s men were somewhat surprisingly beaten 2-1 by Atalanta last week, with the Milan boss consequently ordering a training retreat until Saturday’s encounter.
Alessio Romagnoli does not see the training camp as a punishment, though, and feels it serves as a good preparation for the clash with Juventus.
“It is the first time I have found myself in a situation like this. It isn’t a punishment, but a week to spend time together, reflect and prepare in the best manner possible for the game with Juventus,” Romagnoli told Corriere dello Sport.
“We definitely have an objective and that is to qualify for Europe. We’re far off the Champions League places, but we want direct qualification to the Europa League and so we’re targeting fourth place.”
Juventus have won their last six Serie A clashes against Milan – neither side has ever previously recorded a longer winning run in the fixture.
A single strike from Paulo Dybala made the difference for Juventus when they hosted Milan in November.
Key Opta facts:
– AC Milan have failed to score in both of their last two home games against Juventus in Serie A. They have never previously gone three in a row.
– Juventus have won 13 out of 14 league games in 2016 (1D), scoring 28 goals and conceding only two.
– Carlos Bacca has scored 14 goals in the league this season, but only two of those have come against sides currently above Milan in the table (Inter and Fiorentina).
– Paulo Dybala has scored a goal in each of his last three Serie A appearances against Milan, making them his joint-favourite target in the top flight.
– Massimiliano Allegri is unbeaten in seven Serie A clashes as a coach against Sinisa Mihajlovic: two draws and five wins.
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