Allegri expects right response from Juventus

Juventus boss Massimiliano Allegri has challenged the Serie A leaders to “turn the page” and get a shock Coppa Italia defeat out of their system by beating Parma.

The Bianconeri saw hopes of a fifth successive league and cup double ended on Wednesday night with a 3-0 quarter-final defeat away to Atalanta.

Juventus, though, remain unbeaten in Serie A through 21 matches, and are 11 points clear of Napoli heading into weekend.

With the Champions League last-16 tie against Atletico Madrid also on the horizon, Allegri wants his team fully focused on getting back in their stride on Saturday night.

“The important thing is to immediately turn the page after the defeat in Bergamo,” Allegri said at a press conference.

“Football is simpler than we want to imply – we won in Rome at Lazio, we lost the same kind of match in Bergamo.

“In Rome, it went well because we did not go 2-0 down like we did in Bergamo immediately before half-time.

“It is not that there are problems or that there is a crisis.

“I understand that people say that we must always win, but it is not possible – not even the Real Madrid side who won four Champions Leagues then claimed only one LaLiga title in six years.”

The Juventus boss added: “Between playing well and winning, there is all the difference in the world – it is like doing the 100 metres in 9.99 and 10 seconds.”

Allegri has some concerns in defence, with Giorgio Chiellini’s calf injury meaning he has joined Leonardo Bonucci and Andrea Barzagli on the sidelines.

Martin Caceres has arrived on loan from Lazio and the Uruguay international will be drafted straight into the back line, while Mattia Perin will be preferred in goal ahead of Wojciech Szczesny.

Allegri also confirmed Croatia forward Mario Mandzukic will be available following a thigh muscle problem.

Despite Juventus having been shown as fallible in midweek, Parma coach Roberto D’Aversa believes his side will have to play the “perfect match” to get a result in Turin.

“We are going to have a lot of difficulties – we are aware of that. We will try to make the most of the opportunities that could fall our way,” D’Aversa told reporters.

“Juventus are one of the strongest sides in Europe. It must be absolutely clear to us that we are playing a fantastic side, irrespective of how many absences they may have. We need to play the perfect match.”

The Gialloblu let a two-goal lead slip as they lost 3-2 at home against SPAL last weekend, a second defeat from the past three Serie A games.

D’Aversa’s men, though have produced some impressive displays as they look to retain their place in Serie A following promotion back to the top flight and are currently in 12th place.

“We can’t think that we’ve already reached our objective, and this is being demonstrated out on the training pitch every day,” the Parma coach said.

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Football Paradise Staff Reporter

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