Allegri confirms Dybala & Morata to miss Chelsea game

By Sports Desk September 26, 2021

Massimiliano Allegri confirmed Paulo Dybala and Alvaro Morata will miss Juventus' Champions League clash with Chelsea following injuries suffered against Sampdoria.

The Bianconeri's second successive Serie A win came at a cost as both Dybala and Morata were ruled out of their Group H showdown with the reigning European champions.

Dybala was on target with the opening goal as Juve moved up to ninth in Serie A, eight points behind leaders Milan, with a 3-2 defeat of Sampdoria.

Yet Allegri did not appear overly concerned by the absence of the two forwards.

"We'll see how to play against Chelsea without Dybala and Morata," he said.

"It's not a decisive game anyway. The key games for the qualification are those against Zenit."

Manuel Locatelli told DAZN of Dybala's injury: "I hope it's nothing serious. He is our great champion and we hope he'll be back as soon as possible."

It was an unconvincing win for a Juve team who have not looked like title contenders in the first season of Allegri's second spell in charge.

Leonardo Bonucci's penalty doubled their lead before Maya Yoshida pulled one back prior to half-time.

Locatelli restored Juve's two-goal lead but Antonio Candreva's 83rd-minute goal set up a tense finish.

"We are all responsible, we all know what we have to do on the field and to help each other out. The fundamental thing today was to win," Locatelli said.

"What happens in the locker room stays there, we listen to what the coach says and must get our way back up the table."

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    Paulo Dybala and Federico Chiesa will start Juventus' Serie A clash with Sassuolo after Massimiliano Allegri accepted he made a mistake with his team selection against Inter.

    Allegri introduced Dybala and Chiesa from the substitutes' bench with Juve trailing in Sunday's match at San Siro, and the former netted a late penalty to rescue a 1-1 draw.

    Despite only being brought on in the 65th minute, Dybala led the way among Juventus players for shots (four), shots on target (two) and big chances created (two).

    The Argentina international, who was returning from a four-game injury lay-off, has been directly involved in more goals (six) than any team-mate in all competitions this term.

    Chiesa's 12 chances created this term, meanwhile, has been bettered by only Alvaro Morata (13) and Juan Cuadrado (15).

    Juventus head coach Allegri explained the decision to overlook the pair for Derby d'Italia selection was down to fitness issues, with both set to be recalled against Sassuolo on Wednesday.

    "Paulo and Chiesa will play, so everybody is happy. You write and I make you happy," Allegri, who was criticised for his team selection, said at his pre-match news conference.

    "Dybala has important technical qualities. He is different from [Dejan] Kulusevski, but Kulusevski played a good game in Milan in the first 60 minutes.

    "Chiesa is a top player. He's played many games already. On Sunday, I was wrong, but I had read the game in a different way, with Kulusevski man-marking [Marcelo] Brozovic.

    "It's not a problem if a player starts on the bench, there are many games. Chiesa didn't drop to the bench because he deserved it. I had read the game in a certain way.

    "Eventually, when he was introduced, we needed more quality and he had a great impact.

    "Federico is a reference point for the national team and Juventus, but if I use the same players all the time, I'll need 20 new players in January.

    "We hope we’ll play 57 games this season and sometimes players must rest. They can benefit from it, physically and mentally."

    Allegri also confirmed Adrien Rabiot is back and available, but Moise Kean and Federico Bernardeschi are ruled out for the visit of Sassuolo to Allianz Stadium.

    Juve have taken 13 points from their last five Serie A matches – only Milan (15) are in better form – but they still sit down in sixth after a poor start to Allegri's second tenure.

    The Bianconeri trailed leaders Napoli by 10 points heading into the weekend games, while Inter were also seven points off top spot, but Allegri still rates the defending champions as favourites to win the Scudetto.

    "[Simone] Inzaghi won't admit it, but Inter are the favourites to win Serie A," Allegri said. "Anything can happen in football, but they remain the favourites.

    "We had a bad start, so there is no room for mistakes. The draw against Inter is important, but only if we win tomorrow."

    Juventus have lost only one of their 16 Serie A matches against 13th-place Sassuolo (W12 D3) – a 1-0 defeat in October 2015 via a Nicola Sansone goal.

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    Koeman has endured a difficult start to the new season, with Barca ninth in LaLiga and suffering back-to-back Champions League group stage defeats for the first time since 2000-01.

    The Catalan side went down 2-1 to Real Madrid on Sunday, Koeman becoming just the second manager to lose all three of his opening El Clasico meetings.

    Koeman's car was mobbed by fans as he left Camp Nou following that defeat to Barca's fierce rivals.

    However, the former Netherlands boss assured that he remains committed to his role as he prepares to take on Rayo Vallecano, who Barca have won their last 13 LaLiga games against.

    "I am older in this, I want to enjoy the atmosphere that there was the other day on the field [for El Clasico]," Koeman told reporters at Tuesday's pre-match news conference.

    "I accept the results. I want to enjoy [my time here], if it is eight years, if it is one year and yes if it's three months.

    "There are things as a coach that you don't like, but I like being with the players, preparing the games, analysing and having to decide is what I like.

    "The other day I loved the game, Not the result because it was a Clasico, but the atmosphere. We made merits for another result, we need a little luck.

    "These things are the ones I like, and if a day comes when I don't enjoy it, I'll go and dedicate myself to playing golf five days a week. I understand that it is a delicate situation, but there is a future in this club."

    Barca are winless in three LaLiga away games, failing to score in their last two trips. They have not gone three consecutive games on the road without scoring since February 2003.

    The Blaugrana, however, have won on their past two visits to newly-promoted top-flight teams without conceding a goal and Koeman appreciates the importance of a reaction on Wednesday.

    "There is always a need to win, especially after the defeat the other day," he continued. "The team is able to react well."

    Asked whether he was not enjoying his time with Barca and whether a new coach would withstand the pressure he is under, Koeman responded: "It depends, if the results are good or bad and the team you are in.

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    "I don't know, it is important to know the situation, be a former player from here and have character if the wind comes against. I am like that and I want to see how far I can go."

  • Koeman: Car mobbing incident after Barca El Clasico defeat reflects social issues Koeman: Car mobbing incident after Barca El Clasico defeat reflects social issues

    Ronald Koeman claimed the unsavoury scenes as he left Camp Nou after the defeat against Real Madrid reflect greater social issues.

    Barcelona sit ninth in LaLiga after a 2-1 loss to Real Madrid on Sunday, Koeman becoming just the second coach to suffer defeat in his first three Clasico meetings.

    The Blaugrana also made it five wins without a LaLiga Clasico victory, their longest winless run against any team in the Spanish top flight since May 2008.

    After the game at Camp Nou at the weekend, under-fire Barca boss Koeman had his car mobbed by a crowd of fans as he attempted to depart the stadium.

    The Catalan club released a statement to condemn those actions and Koeman suggested the incident reflected wider problems as he prepares to face Rayo Vallecano on Wednesday.

    "I don't think there is a solution," Koeman told reporters at Tuesday's pre-match news conference.

    "For me, it is more a social problem, it is not a matter of them being Catalans. It is more a matter of education, they have no values. 

    "We don't have to pay much attention, and it seems that it was only with me, but it has been with many players, with their families.

    "It may be that with me it has been more exaggerated, but even Carles Puyol had to suffer.

    "The club knows that this cannot be repeated and has to find another formula. It should not be given more attention, it is a social problem that happens all over the world, not just here."

    Koeman, who has seen his side go winless in his three top-flight away trips, then echoed a similar sentiment as he reaffirmed the social issues causing the unnerving scenes.

    "I have the images because there were two people in the back [of the car] filming for a documentary, my wife next door," he continued.

    Koeman added: "When you go out there are many cameras, many telephones, a lot on TikTok for their followers ... it is a social problem that we have and it is better to put energy in other things."

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