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Massimiliano Allegri to equal Marcello Lippi landmark when Juventus host Udinese

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 11 Feb 2024

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Juventus boss Massimiliano Allegri will equal Marcello Lippi’s mark of 405 games in charge of the club in Monday’s home game against Udinese.

Allegri will draw level with former great Lippi in Juve’s all-time list and behind only Giovanni Trapattoni, who was head coach for 454 matches between 1976 and 1986.

Juve will cut the gap on Serie A leaders Inter Milan to four points with victory and Allegri acknowledged it will be a special occasion for him.

The 56-year-old told a press conference: “I’m very proud to hit 405 games in charge of Juventus, especially because it puts me level with a coach like Lippi, someone who wrote history and someone whom I have a lot of affection for.”

Allegri has guided Juve to five Serie A titles and two Champions League finals – they lost both – during his two spells as head coach.

Lippi also won five domestic titles in two separate stints in charge and was a Champions League winner with the club in 1996. He also led them to three other Champions League finals.

Allegri is hoping his current side can consolidate their place in the top four by returning to winning ways against Udinese after last week’s 1-0 defeat at Inter, who extended their lead at the top by winning 4-2 at Roma on Saturday.

“We didn’t learn (on Saturday) night that Inter are the favourites and that they’re doing great things,” Allegri said.

“We’ve got 53 points and it’s important to get back to winning ways. We need to pull further clear of fifth place and go within four points of first.

“We have no shortage of motivation. We want to get back into the Champions League and on Monday, even if it’s not decisive, it is a very important game. Mentally we’re in good shape.”

Udinese have taken just two points from their last five league games and sit above the relegation zone only on goal difference.

Their solitary win on the road this season was against AC Milan in November.

Allegri said: “Udinese don’t deserve to be where they are in the table. They’ve dropped a lot of points late on in matches, but they have excellent players. They’re physical and they deserve respect.”

Juve’s new signing Carlos Alcaraz made his debut as a late substitute at Inter last week and is hoping to feature again following his loan move from Southampton earlier this month.

Allegri added: “Alcaraz has a lot of quality and the potential to improve. He’s put himself at our disposal, but he’s not ready to start.”

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