Sampdoria vs Juventus - Allegri wants Juventus to forget about Champions League

Posted Saturday, March 18, 2017 by PA

Massimiliano Allegri will not allow his Juventus players to be distracted by their Champions League clash with Barcelona as he targets an "extraordinary" sixth straight Serie A title.

The Bianconeri will get an opportunity to try and avenge their Berlin defeat from 2015 when they meet Barca in the quarter-finals next month, but revenge is not on Allegri's mind this weekend.

Most pressing for the Juve head coach is getting a positive result at Sampdoria on Sunday night, as a victory would push the Turin side ever closer to clinching an historic sixth successive Scudetto.

On the eve of the match at the Marassi, he told "We shouldn't be getting carried away about playing Barcelona in the Champions League.

"Our quarter-final will be a fascinating tie, but first we have four other matches to worry about.

"Our primary objective is the league, because winning six titles in a row would be extraordinary.

"Sampdoria have won five and drawn two of their last seven matches. We need to be on top of our game."

Allegri will not risk defender Giorgio Chiellini against Samp, meaning Andrea Barzagli or Leonardo Bonucci will play alongside Daniele Rugani as fellow centre-back Medhi Benatia is out injured.

Midfielder Claudio Marchisio played 90 minutes against Porto in midweek and will be available.

On his star striker Gonzalo Higuain, who has not scored in three matches, Allegri added: "Higuain is not tired. He might not have scored for a few games, but he's in good shape."

In the home camp, goalkeeper Emiliano Viviano is the only absentee as he serves a one-match ban.

Samp boss Marco Giampaolo does not think Juve will be diverted by European engagements.

He said: "The Bianconeri have never had any problems with that, they don't know how to take it easy.

"Juve are always clinical and fierce... they're like cannibals.

"They will turn up in Genoa putting their best foot forward."

On the opposition's chances of winning the Scudetto, he added: "It's not over yet although history tells us that clubs are unlikely to lose it from that position."

Samp had, in recent years, been something of a bogey team for the all-conquering Bianconeri, beating them twice in 2012-13 and regularly holding them to draws.

However, that has changed with Juve plundering a 5-0 home win last season and following it up with a 4-1 triumph in Turin back in October.

Giampaolo has never produced a win against the Old Lady across his stints with Cesena, Catania, Empoli and other top-flight clubs.

"That's true," said the Switzerland-born tactician. "I hope it changes tomorrow afternoon with Samp."



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