Allegri wants focus for back-to-back Juve trips


Milan (AFP)

Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri has called for extra focus as the champions prepare for the first of two back-to-back away trips away to Sampdoria on Sunday.

Allegri has steered Juve to eight consecutive Serie A wins, in the process consigning their disastrous start to the season to distant memory.

Juve, who host Bayern Munich next month in the first leg of their Champions League last 16 tie, have hoisted themselves up to fourth place at three points behind leaders Inter Milan.

The Turin giants are firmly back in contention for a record-equalling fifth consecutive title, but Allegri believes their next two away games will test his side's mettle to the full.

"This is the most important period of the season for us now that we've caught up because these two away matches, while I’m not saying they'll be decisive, will be really significant," Allegri told media on Saturday.

"By the time we play Udinese, we'll have been away five times and home just twice in seven games so rounding off this spell with two big results would be no bad thing.

"After that game we have a lot more matches at home than we do on the road."

Juve face a resurgent Sampdoria at the Luigi Ferraris on Sunday, Vincenzo Montella's men fresh off a 3-2 derby win at Genoa in midweek.

The 'Blucerchiati' are on a three-match unbeaten run and Allegri added: "They had a great derby, and they had two good performances before that against Palermo and Lazio.

"They'll be on a high because the derby win will have given them lots of enthusiasm. It will be a complicated game, like all the matches we play, because Sampdoria are a good technical side."

Juventus will be without midfielder Claudio Marchisio through suspension, while Simone Zaza and Alvaro Morata are vying to partner Argentinian forward Paulo Dybala up front.