Juventus boss Massimiliano Allegri has warned the runaway Serie A leaders to beware resurgent Chievo as they resume their bid for an eighth successive league title.
Juve return to league action on Monday evening when they host the bottom-of-the-table side from Verona fresh from the Italian Super Cup triumph over 10-man AC Milan courtesy of Cristiano Ronaldo’s lone strike in midweek.
However, Allegri is acutely aware of the progress Chievo have made under manager Domenico Di Carlo and is taking nothing for granted.
He said at his pre-match press conference: “We have to be focused for Chievo. With Di Carlo at the helm, Chievo have picked up a win, five draws and one defeat and they will keep believing until the end.
“They are a living team and have rediscovered an enthusiasm for salvation. Tomorrow we have to play an aggressive game so as to have a good impact immediately. We must be ready for a race with great respect for our opponents.
“We have taken home the first trophy and entered the second phase of the season. At this time, the biggest risk is to settle down, but it would risk compromising everything in a short time.”
Allegri will shuffle his pack with Mattia Perin starting in goal and one of experienced duo Giorgio Chiellini and Leonardo Bonucci making way for Daniele Rugani among a series of changes.
The two sides will kick off separated by a staggering 45 points with Juventus nine clear of second-placed Napoli, and Chievo left with just eight from their 19 games to date after being hit with a three-point penalty for financial irregularities.
Only Champions League rivals Manchester United and Young Boys have got the better of Allegri’s men in 27 outings in all competitions this season, but Chievo’s need is desperate with Empoli eight points clear of them in 17th place.
They won for the first time in the league this season last time out when Emanuele Giaccherini’s goal was enough to secure the points against 10-man Frosinone, and will hope to cause as many problems as they did in the reverse fixture in August when Federico Bernardeschi struck at the death to secure a 3-2 win for Juve.
Di Carlo said at his pre-match press conference: “I want to see courage. We are going to Turin in order to pick up points.
“We want to achieve something extraordinary and stage a coup.”
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