Juventus set to make major changes after Barcelona triumph
Juventus boss Massimiliano Allegri is set to make major changes to his starting line-up for the Serie A match at Pescara on Saturday after the Italian champions’ famous victory over Barcelona.
The top-flight leaders are away to bottom-of-the-table Pescara in a key match, with Roma sitting only six points behind them with seven matches to play in the Scudetto race.
But with a trip to Camp Nou coming up next Wednesday and Juve on the brink of a Champions League semi-final spot after winning the first leg of their last-eight tie 3-0 in Turin, Allegri is ready to prioritise Europe.
"The lads entertained everyone in the stadium and got a good result," Allegri said in his Barca post-match media conference.
"There were a lot of expectations around this side to see if they were up to a quarter-final. It was a psychological test and we got a big result.
"But there are 45 days to the end of the season. Right now we haven’t won the Scudetto, Coppa Italia or reached the Champions League semi-final.
"We must not get distracted from the reality of the situation because now we have to prepare for Pescara and ensure we win the Scudetto.
"Fortunately I have a big squad and the decisive figures may well be those who didn’t play this game.
"Barcelona put six past Paris Saint-Germain, so we know we have a difficult task in the second leg.
"This game must give us more confidence and awareness of what this squad can achieve. It is right to be happy with what we have done, but also to keep our feet on the ground and a sense of balance, as we have achieved nothing yet."
Paulo Dybala’s two goals were crucial in Juve’s victory, but Allegri was keen to spread the praise around his whole team.
The Juve head coach added: "Dybala showed his quality with an extraordinary performance. He is a great player and he was magnificent. His finishing was great.
"But I am happy for him as I am for all the players. I’m delighted with the whole lot of them because they really were superb.
"We have strength throughout the squad and that is especially important in this period with all the games we have to play one after another. They all have a big part to play.
"We have done exactly what we were looking to do. We have shown people that we can hold our own in games like this."
Juve’s last Champions League triumph came in 1996 and they have since lost in four finals, most recently in 2015 against Barcelona.