by | 13 November, 2022 | Serie A News

Max Allegri

Max Allegri

Max Allegri is pleased to see the Juventus ‘spirit’ back, but admits he is the ‘polar opposite’ to Lazio coach Maurizio Sarri in terms of personality.

It kicks off on Sunday at 19.45 GMT at the Allianz Juventus Stadium in Turin.

Despite a dismal start to the season, the Bianconeri have still climbed into fourth place and are only two points shy of Lazio, who are in joint second with Milan.

This is therefore a potentially massive result for the Champions League spots and even setting up a possible Scudetto comeback fight.

It is particularly remarkable considering the massive injury crisis that Allegri is dealing with.

“I will only know tomorrow morning if Manuel Locatelli and Juan Cuadrado are available, and I will make my choices after that,” said the coach in his press conference.

“Vlahovic will not be there, he doesn’t feel that he’s at 100 per cent. Federico Chiesa is available. The most important thing we’ve seen during this period is the return of that team spirit we had lost, but after that, obviously there are also things we need to improve.

“In order to bring home results and defend well, we needed a little more focus and attention on the details. We still have to do better in possession.”

Even with the injuries, how close is the current side to Allegri’s ideal Juventus?

“My ideal is a team that wins.”

There are other players, like Angel Di Maria and Leandro Paredes, who are recovering from injuries and also holding back to ensure they don’t suffer any setbacks ahead of Argentina’s World Cup campaign.

“I have to decide how many minutes to give Di Maria. It’s a dangerous game anyway, due to the quality of our opponents, and even more so because it’s the last one going into a long break. We’re on a strong run of results and want to build on that.”

Juve have certainly turned a corner with five consecutive Serie A victories, all of them with clean sheets.

Lazio have the second-best defensive record in the league this season, so it might be tough to break them down.

“I expect a difficult match because Lazio are a strong side who are doing very well. It will be a different type of game to the one with Verona. Having said that, if there’s a goal after 10 minutes then everything could change.

“Sarri is a great coach who knows how to organise his teams defensively and has a lot of quality players who can create situations both with passing moves and on the counter. We both won the Serie A title at Juve, but in terms of personality, Sarri and I are polar opposites.”

They are also completely different in their approaches to football, as while Allegri only wants the result, Sarri is consistently demanding beautiful football.

Sarri did not hide his disdain for the decision to play the World Cup in Qatar, which is forcing this unheard of break in domestic leagues until January, but Allegri is more of a company man.

“I am a coach. When they tell me to play, we play, when they tell me to stop, we stop. It’s not for us to decide, we just have to get the best out of the squad.”

Allegri was asked about what seems to be summer signing Gleison Bremer shoving Leonardo Bonucci onto the bench.

“They have the same position, but with different characteristics. Leo is better at passing out from the back, while Gleison covers the space.”