Max Allegri is happy to see the Juventus “spirit” returning, but he acknowledges that, in terms of personality, he is the “polar opposite” of Maurizio Sarri.
On Sunday, 19.45 GMT, Max Allegri will go head to head with Maurizio Sarri at the Allianz Juventus Stadium in Turin.
Juventus have risen into fourth position after a poor start to the season and are only two points behind Lazio, who are tied for second with Milan.
Therefore, the Juventus vs Lazio Serie A game tonight might have a huge impact on the Champions League spots and perhaps set up a potential Scudetto return battle.
The fact that Juventus have been able to return to life amidst Allegri’s severe injury problem, that is really impressive.
“I will only know tomorrow morning if Manuel Locatelli and Juan Cuadrado are available, and I will make my choices after that,” Juventus’ coach Allegri said 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.”
When asked how closely the present team resembles his ideal Juventus team, despite the injuries, Allegri noted: “My ideal is a team that wins.”
Other players, such as Leandro Paredes and Angel Di Maria, are recovering from injuries and holding back to prevent any setbacks before Argentina’s World Cup campaign according to reports in Italy.
In reaction to this, Allegri said: “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.”
With five straight Serie A wins and all of them being clean sheets, Juventus has undoubtedly turned the corner.
It might be difficult to break down Lazio because they have the second-best defensive record in the league this year.
When analysing the game, Allegri said: “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 organize 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.”
Sarri continually demands great football, whilst Allegri merely wants the end result. This is another significant difference between them.
The decision to have the World Cup in Qatar, which is imposing an unprecedented pause in domestic leagues until January, did not go unnoticed by Sarri, but Allegri is more of a businessman.
“I am a coach”, he noted. “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 questioned about what appeared to be Gleison Bremer pushing Leonardo Bonucci onto the bench after signing in the summer.
In his reaction, he said: “They have the same position, but with different characteristics. Leo is better at passing out from the back, while Gleison covers the space.”