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Juventus v Roma | Old Lady face stiff Gialorossi test

Serie A By: Jide Alaka | 17/12/2016

With a four-point gap to Roma, Juventus know that a win would give them at least a seven-point buffer going into 2017.


Therefore all Massimiliano Allegri wants for a Christmas present from his players is the three points on Saturday. “Tomorrow’s is a very important match but one that won’t decide the fate of the Scudetto.


“That said, we won’t be settling for a point: big games like this are there to be won. If we want to top of the tree at Christmas we need a positive result.


“That every side in the league wants to beat us should not come as a surprise. For now, our main rivals are Roma but in the New Year it will be Bologna, then Fiorentina, then Lazio. Our goal is to take each game as it comes and win as many points as we can.


Starting XI against Roma

Allegri then revealed he would not be starting with his three forwards. “At this point, even before our final training session, it is unlikely that we will play with three strikers tomorrow.


“Either [Paolo] Dybala or [Mario] Mandzukic will play with [Gonzalo] Higuain; I will make a call on which of them starts the match later today.


“In terms of fitness, Paulo is coming along very nicely indeed. It’s natural that he needs a bit of time to get back into the swing of things but he came off the bench and played a big hand in our third goal last weekend. Both he and Marko Pjaca will be like new signings in January.


“Further back, Pjanic will feature in midfield; it will be a unique encounter for him but he has the right mentality to make sure it won’t affect his performance. Barzagli will almost certainly be back in the frame for Milan but tomorrow may be coming too soon for him.


He finished by saying, “Benatia is likely to slot into the defence; whether we play with three or four at the back, that remains to be seen.”