Massimiliano Allegri isn’t taking Salernitana lightly in Coppa Italia clash

By Sports Desk January 03, 2024

Massimiliano Allegri is determined to lead Juventus to another Coppa Italia success.

Juve, the competition’s most successful side with 14 titles, are favourites to lift the trophy after holders Inter Milan and Serie A champions Napoli were both knocked out.

Standing in Juve’s way of a quarter-final tie against Frosinone is Serie A’s bottom club Salernitana, who travel to Turin on Thursday.

And Allegri, who has been in charge for four of the club’s cup successes, is aware of the opportunity that awaits a team who have not lifted any silverware since 2021.

He said: “The Coppa Italia means a lot to us, as it always has.

“That applies even more so this season as we’re only competing in this competition and in the league, so we must do everything possible to get to face Frosinone in the quarter-finals.

“Anything can happen in a knockout tie, as we saw with Napoli and Inter getting knocked out. The early stages of the Coppa Italia may not interest everyone, but there’s a trophy at stake.

“Losing or drawing a game at this club can almost be a catastrophe, which is exactly why we have to give our all to progress. That’s what’s great about being at Juve.”

Thursday’s opponents Salernitana have won just two of their 18 league matches this season.

The teams will meet twice in the space of four days, as they face off again in the league on Sunday, but Allegri has all eyes on the cup fixture.

He added: “Tomorrow we’re facing a team on the up. Salernitana beat Verona away from home (on Saturday) and are well drilled, so we mustn’t underestimate them.

“We’ll face them once again on Sunday, but right now we’re focused on the cup. When the tie is over, we’ll turn our attention towards the league.

“It’s always tough to win matches. The further ahead you go, the smaller the margin for error, so we need to be good in that regard.”

Allegri confirmed trio Mattia Perin, Daniele Rugani and Federico Chiesa will all start for the cup clash but is undecided about the rest of his selection.

He said: “I still need to assess the rest. (Kenan) Yildiz won’t play tomorrow. When a young player is doing well, they get highly praised straight away. He needs to stay calm and keep working hard.

“I’ll certainly send the best possible team out there tomorrow. The stadium will be packed out, so even more reason for us to want to win.”

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