Juventus chief coach Massimiliano Allegri urged his side not to underestimate Torino, who will be extra motivated playing a derby in the Coppa Italia quarter-final here on Wednesday. “We absolutely will not underestimate our opponents tomorrow, because first and foremost it is a derby and a derby is a game within itself,” Allegri was quoted as saying by Juventus website on Tuesday. “Our goal is to win because for us the TIM Cup is an objective of ours, just like the Scudetto and the Champions League, so we have to prepare for it in the best manner,” the three-time consecutive Coppa Italia winning-coach added. Juventus arrive in the match on the back of having dealt successfully against big teams like Napoli, Inter Milan, Roma and Sporting Lisbon in Champions League. Last week they beat Hellas Verona 3-1 to trail Serie A leaders by one point. In the Coppa Italia pre-quarterfinal, they went past Genoa 2-0.
Torino are 10th in the league and come into the match with three draws and two defeats in last five Serie A games. But they can take confidence having stunned Roma 2-1 in the Coppa Italia. “One thing is certain, for us to get through to the next round we can’t play the same as we did in Verona, it’s true that we have got through a tough period of difficult matches, but we have a run of games where we cannot afford to make mistakes,” Allegri warned his footballers. “Tomorrow we can only win or lose, and in the league, we have to stay close to Napoli and not drop any points that will see us fall behind them.” Allegri said that for the match at the Allianz Stadium, he will rest one of strikers Gonzalo Higuain or Mario Mandzukic keeping the Cagliari match in mind.
“The players that are out of tomorrow night’s match are Gianluigi Buffon, (Juan) Cuadrado and (Mattia) De Sciglio, but they are all close to returning. In fact, De Sciglio worked with the team yesterday so could be available for Cagliari at the weekend.” “Dybala will play tomorrow either as a false nine or partnering Mandzukic and Higuain, but one of that pair will be rested. Meanwhile, (Daniele) Rugani could line up in defence and (Claudio) Marchisio could play from the start tomorrow (in midfield) and I’ll decide later who would partner him in the midfield in the event that he does play from the off.” “Also, one of (Stephan) Lichtsteiner or (Stefano) Sturaro will play at right-back.”