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Juve need Cagliari win, says Allegri

17 December 2014, 21:25

Milan - Massimiliano Allegri has called for Juventus to cap their impressive year so far with a win away to Cagliari on Thursday but warned the champions not to take the struggling Sardinians lightly.

Juventus were held for their second consecutive league outing at the weekend when Sampdoria held on for a 1-1 draw in Turin, a week after Juve had to settle for a point at Fiorentina.

Cagliari have won only twice this season and the Sardinians are on a seven-game winless streak that means beating a well-oiled Juventus side who recently booked their ticket for the last 16 of the Champions League would be a tall order.

Also read: Juventus, Napoli targets wins

But with closest challengers Roma now only one point behind, Allegri has called for a clinical performance to make sure the Old Lady returns to the fray on January 6 still top of the table.

"Cagliari are a difficult side who create a lot of opportunities. They've shown that in their home games this season, especially against Fiorentina, and are fighting for their top flight survival," Allegri told reporters Wednesday.

"But we have to get back to winning ways by turning in a good performance. Our display was decent against Sampdoria, but we just couldn't claim the win."

Juventus will definitely be without defender Leonardo Bonucci, who is suspended after being booked against Sampdoria and triggering an automatic one-game suspension.

But four other Juve players, defenders Angelo Ogbonna and Stephan Lichsteiner and midfielders Paul Pogba are only one booking away from being suspended for the Italian Super Cup final against Cup champions Napoli in Doha on December 22.

Allegri insisted he will pick his strongest side for the trip to Sardinia.

"I'll pick the best possible starting line-up because tomorrow's game is the most important. We hope to win without picking up any bookings, then we'll see how we're set for Doha."

Allegri, however, could be missing from the touchline after being handed a one-game ban for insulting an official during Sunday's draw in Turin.

The club have lodged an appeal but Allegri said he was still puzzled.

"I'm still surprised about it. My behaviour towards the officials was, as it always is, decent and correct," he added.



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