Allegri Pumps the Brakes Before Coppa Tilt Against Sassuolo

Massimiliano Allegri discussed Thursday’s Coppa Italia match against Sassuolo: “The team is fine, besides Giorgio Chiellini and Federico Bernardeschi, who should go into full training Friday. Leonardo Bonucci will start tomorrow, and then we will since he has been out for a while. It is the quarter-final of a competition we care a lot about.”

The coach tried to temper expectations: “I have seen some euphoria after the Verona game. Having enthusiasm is fine when it is not too much. Our goal is to reach the top four and advance as much as possible in the cups. I do not like to dream, as Inter, Napoli are very distant. Atalanta are our real competitors for the remainder of the season.” 

Allegri furnished more hints about the lineup versus Sassuolo: “One between Alvaro Morata and Paulo Dybala could rest, and Kaio Jorge could start. The subs will be very important because the match could go into overtime. Matias Perin will get the nod, while Denis Zakaria is okay after a knock.”

The coach concluded: “I am very happy with Kaio Jorge. He had the opportunity to go to Sassuolo, but he decided to stay. He is a young center-forward, and he will feature tomorrow, either from the start or as a sub. Regardless of the scheme, the key is to be compact and move as a team.”

“Alvaro Morata played for four months with the back to the goal, which is not his best suit. He is devastating when he has room. He is a great player when he does what he is capable of, but it is not a surprise. The same goes for Adrien Rabiot, who has incredible technical and physical skills, but you can not expect him to score ten goals in a season.”