Massimiliano Allegri Urges Juventus to 'Kill Games Off' Ahead of Chievo Clash

Gianni Verschueren@ReverschPassFeatured ColumnistJanuary 20, 2019

FILE - In this Nov. 27, 2018 file photo, Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri gestures during the Champions League group H soccer match between Juventus and Valencia at the Allianz stadium in Turin, Italy. Inter Milan is heading to Juventus determined to prove the battle for the Serie A title is not already over. Inter is third but already 11 points behind Juventus and anything but a win Friday, Dec. 7, 2018, against the Serie A leader in Turin will surely rule the Nerazzurri out of the title race. (AP Photo/Antonio Calanni, file)
Antonio Calanni/Associated Press

Juventus manager Massimiliano Allegri has called on his club to do a better job of "killing games off" and provided several squad updates ahead of Monday's match against Chievo Verona.

Per Football Italia, he also warned his side not to underestimate the Flying Donkeys, who have been in solid form of late:

“It’s Juventus-Chievo and we need to take it very seriously indeed.

“Since Mimmo Di Carlo has taken over, they’ve managed five draws, a victory and just one defeat. They can believe in and fight for Serie A safety to the very end.

“We must learn to kill games off, because when the opponents are clinging on, you need to finish them. We mustn’t give them the opportunity to get back into it. This squad has the DNA of champions and that means we must work every day to get better, not rest on our laurels.”

JEDDAH, SAUDI ARABIA - JANUARY 16: Head coach of Juventus Massimiliano Allegri celebrates after winning the Italian Supercup match between Juventus and AC Milan at King Abdullah Sports City on January 16, 2019 in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. (Photo by Marco Rosi
Marco Rosi/Getty Images

In team news he gave an update on some of his injured players and said both Daniele Rugani and Mattia Perin will get their chance against Chievo:

“Rodrigo Bentancur got a knock in Jeddah and is rested. We’ll try to have Mario Mandzukic back against Lazio, while Andrea Barzagli and Medhi Benatia are working towards recovery. Juan Cuadrado is a long way off.

“Miralem Pjanic has a bruised calf muscle, but he’s suspended anyway so has a week to recover. I believe our big January signing will be Sami Khedira, because he hasn’t been able to contribute much so far this season due to injuries.

“I can confirm we’ll make a few changes tomorrow, so Mattia De Sciglio will be on the right, Alex Sandro on the left, with Mattia Perin in goal. Daniele Rugani will play with either Giorgio Chiellini or Leonardo Bonucci in defence. Federico Bernardeschi will start up front.”

JEDDAH, SAUDI ARABIA - JANUARY 16:  Cristiano Ronaldo of Juventus celebrates after scoring his sides first goal during the Italian Supercup match between Juventus and AC Milan at King Abdullah Sports City on January 16, 2019 in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.  (Pho
Claudio Villa/Getty Images

Juventus remain unbeaten in Serie A, winning all but two of their matches, but they haven't been without criticism in the first half of the season. The Bianconeri have often let opponents hang around after dominating early, and in both their draws―against Atalanta and Genoa―it cost them.

In the Italian top division their last four wins have all been by a one-goal margin, and while their defence is among the world's best, playing with such a slim lead is a huge risk.

Their lack of killer instinct was also exposed in the UEFA Champions League group stage, where Manchester United completed an unlikely comeback in Turin to steal a win.

Juventus' players celebrate their Supercoppa Italiana final win against AC Milan at the King Abdullah Sports City Stadium in Jeddah on January 16, 2019. - Cristiano Ronaldo scored the only goal to hand Juventus their first trophy of the season with a 1-0
-/Getty Images

Chievo are ranked last in Serie A but have lost just one match in the competition since early November. The Flying Donkeys don't score a lot of goals but haven't conceded many of late and are coming off a win over Frosinone.

Juventus lead the standings by nine points at the time of writing, but Napoli can close the gap to six with a win over Lazio on Sunday night. The Partenopei appear the only side capable of halting their run to a historic eighth straight title, with Inter Milan already 13 points behind the Old Lady, who also have a match in hand.

Related

    Juventus Wait for Injury Updates on Douglas and Pjanic

    Juventus logo
    Juventus

    Juventus Wait for Injury Updates on Douglas and Pjanic

    Calciomercato.com | Tutte le news sul calcio in tempo reale
    via Calciomercato.com | Tutte le news sul calcio in tempo reale

    Messi Won't Be Rushed Back from Injury

    Leo unlikely to be risked against Dortmund

    World Football logo
    World Football

    Messi Won't Be Rushed Back from Injury

    Leo unlikely to be risked against Dortmund

    ESPN.com
    via ESPN.com

    Wilson's Brace Sinks Everton

    Bournemouth get their first win of the season

    World Football logo
    World Football

    Wilson's Brace Sinks Everton

    Bournemouth get their first win of the season

    BBC Sport
    via BBC Sport

    'Everyone Knows I Wanted to Leave'

    Neymar has his say on failed Barca move

    World Football logo
    World Football

    'Everyone Knows I Wanted to Leave'

    Neymar has his say on failed Barca move

    Gill Clark
    via Bleacher Report