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Allegri demands Serie A tonic to soothe Champions League pain

Juventus face a Bologna side looking to haul themselves away from the relegation zone.

Cristiano Ronaldo may be rested for Juventus’ trip to Bologna (Martin Rickett/PA)
Cristiano Ronaldo may be rested for Juventus’ trip to Bologna (Martin Rickett/PA)

Massimiliano Allegri has challenged his Juventus players to “do something extraordinary” as they look to bounce back from their midweek Champions League defeat at Atletico Madrid.

Allegri’s men head to struggling Bologna on Sunday with a 13-point lead in Serie A but have stumbled of late with two defeats and a draw in their last five games, including Wednesday’s 2-0 loss at the Wanda Metropolitano.

Far from shutting out thoughts of the second leg, Allegri believes the Bologna game represents the ideal chance to regain momentum ahead of their return to Champions League action in three weeks.

Allegri told a press conference: “We have 20 days to prepare for this challenge. I don’t know if we’ll get through or not, but we must do everything to make sure we’re in the best condition.

“We will be ready for March 12 and I think we’ve a good chance of going through. We must turn what happened in Madrid into an opportunity to do something extraordinary.

“We are lucky to be going through these next 20 days. If you won every game, which is impossible, then life would be flat and dull.”

Allegri admitted he could rest Cristiano Ronaldo after the Portuguese talisman was one of the few players to be spared the coach’s wrath in midweek. Giorgio Chiellini may also be rested, while Miralem Pjanic is a doubt due to illness.

New Bologna coach Sinisa Mihajlovic says recent results prove Juve are far from unbeatable as his side look to haul themselves away from the Serie A relegation zone.

A stunning away win at Inter Milan got Mihajlovic’s reign off to a flyer but a subsequent draw with Genoa and last week’s loss at Roma has left his side struggling for form.

Mihajlovic told a press conference: “Wednesday’s match proves that no team is unbeatable. We are playing at home and we will play with courage, confidence and determination.

“Juventus is a model for everyone to follow. They will try to win the Champions League, and in Ronaldo they have one of the best in the world.

“We have to improve and we have to create more opportunities.”

PA

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