Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri has warned his players to be wary of the threat posed by Genoa when the sides meet at Stadio Luigi Ferraris on Friday evening.
Juve’s win over Serie A champions Napoli in the last round of fixtures places them second in the table behind Inter Milan heading into the match, but Allegri believes a different approach will be needed this week.
“Genoa have very respectable numbers at home, they are an aggressive team that play good football,” Allegri told reporters at a pre-match press conference on Thursday.
— JuventusFC (@juventusfcen) December 14, 2023
“(Coach Alberto) Gilardino is doing an important job, we will also find (Radu) Dragusin, (Koni) De Winter and (Alessandro) Vogliacco, three guys who grew up at Juventus.
“We will have to interpret the match differently than the last three (Inter, Monza and Napoli).”
Genoa are 14th but have only lost two of their seven home matches.
“Historically, matches against the Rossoblu are always difficult: I remember an episode years ago, after 23 minutes we were already 3-0 down,” Allegri recalled.
“We have to be careful, match their pace, the stadium atmosphere is red hot and the fans push them on. It will be fundamental to make our qualities count.”
Allegri confirmed Moise Kean would be out for up to four weeks for treatment on a long-standing tibia issue.
Mattia De Sciglio is set to make a gradual return in the new year from an anterior cruciate ligament injury suffered last season, but Allegri otherwise has a full squad to pick from on Friday with Timothy Weah returning from a thigh problem.
Allegri anticipated Kean’s absence could mean more opportunities for 18-year-old attacking midfielder Kenan Yildiz, who has so far managed just 36 minutes this season from the substitutes’ bench.
“He, like other boys, is growing very well. We need him to continue to improve and wait for the right moment,” Allegri said.
Juventus have scored 14 fewer goals than league leaders Inter, with Lautaro Martinez and Hakan Calhanoglu’s 21 goals just two less than Juve’s overall total.
Allegri insisted he was “happy” with his strikers, despite Dusan Vlahovic’s tally of five making him their highest individual goalscorer.
“In recent matches Vlahovic has shown his technique, excellent physical and mental condition, despite the missed penalty in Monza,” the coach said.
“Tomorrow could be, for him and for (Federico) Chiesa, the opportunity to return to scoring; other players have scored in this last period and that’s fine.
“The important thing is to have the right attitude, run and apply pressure to help out even in the defensive phase.”
Juventus have not lost since a 4-2 defeat to Sassuolo on September 23, while Genoa’s last win came at home to Verona on November 10.
They have lost three and drawn one of their four Serie A matches since then.