Allegri sets Juventus 96-point title target

Napoli's exceptional form means Juventus will have to raise the bar to retain its Serie A title, according to Massimiliano Allegri.

Massimiliano Allegri has overseen Juventus win three in a row in Serie A but the circumstance this season is such it needs to keep winning.   -  Getty Images

Juventus head coach Massimiliano Allegri believes his team will need a 96-point haul to retain the Serie A title this season.

Juve is chasing a seventh consecutive Scudetto but finds itself second in the standings, a point behind Napoli at the halfway stage this time around.

The excellent form displayed by Maurizio Sarri's side has convinced Allegri that Juve will need its best points total since a Serie A record of 102 in 2013-14 to prevail come May.

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"What is certain is that to go through, we cannot repeat the performance we put in at Verona," said Allegri at a news conference ahead of Wednesday's Coppa Italia derby against Torino.

"We have to get through the quarter-final and then win at Cagliari [on Saturday]. Coming up are two games that we cannot get wrong.

"We cannot afford to lose any more points to Napoli. We must stay in their wake or try to surpass them.

"If we have to recover it will become more difficult in season where, at the moment, the projection for winning the Scudetto is 96 points."

Allegri confirmed Paulo Dybala will remain in the starting line-up for the Turin derby after his match-winning brace in the eventual 3-1 win at Verona, with one of Mario Mandzukic or Gonzalo Higuain set to be rested.

Daniele Rugani and Claudio Marchisio could start in defence and midfield respectively, while veteran goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon (calf), defender Benedikt Howedes (thigh) and winger Juan Cuadrado (pelvis) remain sidelined.

Full-back Mattia De Sciglio is back in training and could be in line for a return at Cagliari – Juve's final fixture before the mid-season break.

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