Torino will provide Juventus with a bigger challenge than European champion Chelsea, coach Massimiliano Allegri said on Friday, as the Italians look to repair the damage of a sluggish start to the Serie A season in the Turin Derby.
Allegri’s side recorded an impressive 1-0 Champions League victory against the English side in midweek, a surprising result after its poor start in the league.
“It will be the game of a lifetime for Torino. It is the derby and they are preparing at their best,” Allegri told a news conference.
“We will need to be even better prepared than on Wednesday, it will be even more difficult.”
Juve failed to win any of its opening four Serie A games for the first time in 60 years, but back-to-back wins against Spezia and Sampdoria lifted the side into the top half of the table last weekend.
It remains eight points behind leader Napoli and now travels to a Torino side that is ahead on goal difference after starting the campaign brightly under new coach Ivan Juric.
“Tomorrow we need to fix our position in the league table and give ourselves another little boost,” Allegri said.
“Juric is doing great work and above all he has conveyed concepts that embody the spirit of Toro.
“It will be a complicated game and it will require patience. Torino are the team to have conceded the fewest shots this season.”
The victory over Chelsea was achieved without a recognised striker, with Federico Chiesa starting up front for Juve in the absence of injured pair Paulo Dybala and Alvaro Morata.
Allegri revealed that goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny and defender Giorgio Chiellini are guaranteed to start against Torino, while Arthur Melo and Kaio Jorge could be on the bench following injuries.
But the coach stopped short of claiming that Wednesday’s performance heralded a new-look Juventus.
"It was not Allegri’s new Juve, because we had some important absences. On Wednesday, we discovered that Chiesa can play as a centre-forward in certain matches,” he said.
"Wednesday went well, but tomorrow we will have to play a different game. They play man-to-man and we will have to be at our best."
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