Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Dybala wins Juve place back but no guarantees from Allegri

SoccerNews in Serie A 4 May 2018

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Paulo Dybala will start in attack alongside Gonzalo Higuain on Saturday against Bologna but Juventus head coach Massimiliano Allegri refused to give guarantees on the younger Argentina forward’s future.

Juve will claim a seventh consecutive Scudetto this weekend if they beat Roberto Donadoni’s side and nearest rivals Napoli lose to Torino on Sunday.

Higuain and Dybala have contributed 35 Serie A goals between them this season but it has still proved a mixed campaign for the pair.

Last weekend’s dramatic late winner against Inter was Higuain’s first goal in eight matches across all competitions, while Dybala – who has been linked with Bayern Munich and Manchester United – only featured as a substitute at San Siro having been hauled off at half-time in the 1-0 defeat to Napoli and sent off in the Champions League quarter-final first leg against Real Madrid.

“Tomorrow Higuain and Dybala will play from the start,” Allegri told a pre-match news conference.

“They have to score the goals that we need for the Scudetto.

“I won’t decide if [Dybala] will go, it’s a decision we’ll need to take with the club. For sure Dybala has still room for improvement.

“He can become one of the best players in the world but it’s up to him. He needs to sacrifice to reach his target. He is focused on these last games.”

Allegri’s own future has also been a matter for discussion of late, with Chelsea and Arsenal both holding a reported interest in the former Milan boss.

Nevertheless, the 47-year-old again offered assurances he is content to remain at the Allianz Stadium, where he is under contract until the end of the 2019-20 season.

“I’m tied to Juventus and I’m happy here,” he said.

“There’s nothing more to say except that what matters is winning the seventh league title and the Coppa Italia.”

Mario Mandzukic suffered a gashed ankle against Inter and will sit out this weekend, although Allegri hopes the Croatia forward will return for Wednesday’s Coppa Italia final against AC Milan.

Claudio Marchisio and Rodrigo Bentancur are in contention to replace the suspended Miralem Pjanic in midfield.

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