Football

Allegri to rest key players ahead of Barcelona test

JUVENTUS CHIEVO

Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri will get a final chance to test his troops before next week's Champions League opener at Barcelona in tomorrow morning's (Singapore time) league tie at home against Chievo.

Serie A champions Juventus travel to the Nou Camp on Wednesday morning to take on the Catalan side they eliminated in the quarter-finals of the European competition last season.

But, with the clash against La Liga powerhouses in mind, Allegri has decided to rest some of his key players for the domestic fixture.

He has confirmed that goalkeeper Gigi Buffon will not feature against Chievo, with Wojciech Szczesny taking his place, while Sami Khedira, Giorgio Chiellini and Claudio Marchisio are still injured.

He said in a press conference: "There are players to choose from... Khedira is out, Marchisio is still recovering and, hopefully, he'll be back soon because he needs to reinforce that leg.

"Chiellini is out, we hope to have him against Barcelona. Juan (Cuadrado) is back in because I didn't see him yesterday and (Paulo) Dybala worked separately yesterday (after international duty).

"The others are all available, they're all fine. Those who stayed here (over the international break) worked well."

Juventus got off to a flying start in Serie A, with two wins in two matches.

However, Allegri reminded the team that the tough part is just starting.

He said: "The season begins here because the first two games were like a little taster of the season.

"Now the real season starts, with a month in which we have seven games, five in the league and two in the Champions League."

New arrival Mattia De Sciglio is eager to impress his former AC Milan coach Allegri, but he said that the team have to get the job done against Chievo first.

The defender said: "It was important for me to be reunited with Allegri, who showed great confidence in me at Milan.

"Saturday's game will not be easy, Chievo are very organised.

"We will have to go with the right mindset to take home three points and only after can we think about Barcelona." - WIRE SERVICES

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