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Allegri tells Juventus players to use ‘every ounce of courage’ in Serie A run-in

Victory over Juve would lift Inter back into the Champions League places.

Massimiliano Allegri has urged his Juventus players to “go the extra mile” in their pursuit of a Serie A and Coppa Italia double.

The head coach’s mission to deliver a seventh straight Scudetto for Juve became more difficult on Sunday when closest rivals Napoli won 1-0 in Turin to close to within a single point of the Bianconeri.

The title is Juve’s to lose as they will retain it by winning their remaining four games, but their next match, against Inter Milan at San Siro, represents a major obstacle for Allegri’s side.

Unlike Napoli, Juve also have the distraction of a cup final as they meet AC Milan in two weeks’ time.

At his pre-match press conference Allegri first addressed rumours of a dressing-room bust-up in the wake of the dramatic home defeat to Napoli.

“Regarding those stories, it’s never good to hear false claims like that,” he said on Friday. “We’re not going to let that affect us now.

“Tomorrow will be a great match. It’s the derby d’Italia and we need to put in a top performance against a team who have only conceded 23 goals this season.

“Now is the time for us to demonstrate every ounce of courage and be ready for every ball and every tackle. The league is all to play for and we will be doing everything within our powers to win it.

“Everyone needs to go that extra mile in order to reach our two targets: the Scudetto and the Coppa Italia.”

Allegri expects to have Croatia striker Mario Mandzukic available while defender Andrea Barzagli could start against Inter after missing the Napoli game through injury. Centre-back Giorgio Chiellini was withdrawn early on Sunday and will be assessed.

Inter’s sole absentee is Roberto Gagliardini, the midfielder who was hurt during the 4-0 win over Cagliari.

The Nerazzurri are fifth but targeting a third straight win and a return to the Champions League places.

Italy international Antonio Candreva told inter.it: “It will be a decisive match for our campaign and we can’t wait to play.

“We all know Juventus have been the strongest team in Italy in recent years. We know we’ll be up against a team who are angry but we need to focus on ourselves and how important a win would be.

“It will be a tough game and we will have to make the most of the few chances that they allow us.”

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