Allegri sets Juventus 100-plus target for Serie A glory
Mar 13 2018 - 13:48
Massimiliano Allegri does not want Juventus to ease up in the face of Napoli's recent wobble and has urged his players to break the 100-point barrier in order to retain the Serie A title.
Juve lead Maurizio Sarri's side by a point heading into their rescheduled game in hand at home to Atalanta on Wednesday.
Allegri's men have stolen a march on Napoli, who followed a dramatic 4-2 defeat to Roma with a goalless draw at Inter on Sunday.
There is an understandably buoyant mood around the Old Lady following last week's stirring comeback to knock Tottenham out of the Champions League, with a Coppa Italia final date to look forward to against AC Milan in May.
Nevertheless, Allegri is keen for his players to keep powering forward in the event of Napoli compiling a perfect record between now and the end of the campaign.
"We're top of Serie A, in the Coppa Italia final and in the Champions League quarter-finals, but we've not won anything yet and we need to keep working towards our targets," he told a pre-match news conference.
"Napoli currently have 70 points and so they have the chance to reach 100 by the end of the season. That means we need to be aiming above the 100-point mark.
"If, in reality, we end up needing less then so be it, but we can’t be resting on our laurels.
"In every match against Atalanta, they make us work very hard. They're a physically tough team, but also technically skilled.
"We have to be on top of our game technically, tactically and physically in order to make the points ours."
Allegri confirmed widemen Juan Cuadrado (groin) and Federico Bernardeschi (knee) as injury absentees, but the fitness picture is otherwise looking up for Juve.
Miralem Pjanic is "99.9 per cent" ready to return having rested up as an unused substitute during the 2-0 weekend win over Udinese, although Alex Sandro will be assessed after showing fatigue in training as Allegri mulls his attacking line-up.
"I need to decide who starts between [Gonzalo] Higuain and [Mario] Mandzukic given we've a game on Saturday," he added.
"Douglas Costa may be required to put in an extra shift this week."