“At the end of February, we will be able to find out whether or not we can fight for the first four places (qualifiers for the Champions League, editor’s note).
In two months we play our season, ”summarized before the short winter break coach Massimiliano Allegri.
Thanks to a rediscovered defense (six wins and only two goals conceded in eight matches), Juventus ended a year to forget, the one that saw them ceding their crown to Inter Milan in May, after nine consecutive titles.
The « Old Lady », despite her five defeats in Serie A, rose in two months from 9th to 5th place and turned mid-season just four lengths from fourth place (Atalanta).
The objective of Allegri, who has officially given up on the title (Inter have a twelve-point lead), is to manage to stay within reach of the Top 4 by the end of February: this would mean that Juve have negotiated the strong start to the year that awaits them rather well, with most of their direct rivals for the “Champions League zone” on the menu.
With Dybala and Chiesa
It starts on Thursday, during the 20th day, with the reception of Naples (3rd), three days before moving to the field of AS Roma (6th). AC Milan (2nd) will also arrive soon (January 23) before Atalanta in February.
Meanwhile, Inter Milan are also waiting for him at the San Siro on January 12 in the Italian Supercup, to try to steal another trophy from the Bianconeri after the Scudetto.
Suffice to say that the Turin tifosi will quickly know whether their Juve, present without interruption for ten years in C1, will play the leading roles or not during the second half of the season.
Allegri had only known the heights during his first stint (five league titles, four Italian Cups, two C1 finals between 2014 and 2019).
If the defense is decimated (Bonucci and Danilo injured, Chiellini positive for Covid-19), « Max » should find his offensive nuggets Paulo Dybala and Federico Chiesa against Naples, recovered from their injuries.
The Morata case
Given the economic situation, the winter transfer window will not necessarily be of great help in strengthening an attack still orphaned by Cristiano Ronaldo.
Only the departure of Alvaro Morata could change the situation: the 29-year-old Spanish striker, on loan from Atlético Madrid, would not be insensitive to the interest of FC Barcelona according to the Catalan press.
To replace him, Juve have reportedly surveyed Paris SG for Argentinian Mauro Icardi (also on loan) and are keeping an eye on emerging Serie A scorers (Fiorentina’s Dusan Vlahovic, Sassuolo’s Gianluca Scamacca).
Allegri, however, ruled out any departure from the Spaniard on Wednesday: « Morata is not leaving », he assured, welcoming a « performing and important player ».
Especially since the club does not really have the means to break the bank, also under surveillance by sports authorities and the courts, for its recent cross-selling operations, with capital gains at stake.