Juve focused on top-four finish with title chasers out of reach - Allegri

Juve is six points ahead of fifth-placed Atalanta, which has a game in hand, as teams battle for the final qualifying spot to enter the Champions League next season.

Juventus are not in the Serie A title race, insists Massimiliano Allegri. (File Photo)

Juventus needs to avoid talking, work more and focus on finishing in the top four, manager Massimiliano Allegri said on Friday ahead of its Serie A match at Sampdoria this weekend.

The Turin-based club is six points ahead of fifth-placed Atalanta, which has a game in hand, as teams battle for the final qualifying spot to enter the Champions League next season.

Allegri said Juve must focus on a fourth-place finish as it was difficult to aim much higher. They are four points behind Napoli in third and seven adrift of leader AC Milan with 10 games left.

"Juventus need to talk little and do a lot. The teams ahead of us will stay ahead of us because they have such a big lead that we cannot reach them," Allegri told reporters ahead of Saturday's game.

"We need to focus on fourth place, on (qualifying for) the Champions League quarter-finals."

Juve host Villarreal on Wednesday in the second leg of their Champions League last-16 tie after a 1-1 draw in the first leg.

Allegri added that he was hoping forward Paulo Dybala, out of action since mid-February due to a thigh injury, would return to face the Spaniards along with defender Leonardo Bonucci, who was been suffering with calf problems.

"Paulo (is feeling) better. He could return to being available like Bonucci for the Champions League," Allegri said.

"I need Paulo, the team needs him, he gives us quality. Let's hope we'll get him back for Wednesday."

Dybala's absence has left Juve dependent on January signing Dusan Vlahovic. But Allegri said he was considering giving the striker a break considering his workload since he joined.

"I'm happy. It was not easy to arrive at Juventus and to have to play every three days where the physical and mental burden is different given that you have to win every game," Allegri said. "I'll decide on Vlahovic's break tomorrow."

Allegri added that Mattia De Sciglio should return for the Sampdoria game after a knee problem, while fellow defender Alex Sandro is a doubt after picking up a calf injury last month.

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