Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri expects his side to exhibit an improvement in form when they take on Roma at the Stadio Olimpico on Sunday. The champions, who are seeking a fifth successive Serie A crown, suffered a shock defeat on the opening weekend, going down 1-0 at home to Udinese.
And Allegri is hoping for more from his players ahead of their trip to the capital on Sunday – which will see Juve face their closest domestic challengers in the 2014-15 campaign.
“Serie A is not a 100 meter race but a marathon,” Allegri said. “You need patience to find the right rhythm. We know we have a great team, with players that have to grow, but we need to be given time to do so. “We will improve game by game, we just have to think about working and getting back to winning ways.”
Juventus, drawn alongside Manchester City, Borussia Monchengladbach and Sevilla when the draw for the Champions League group stage was made on Thursday, confirmed the loan signing of Chelsea winger Juan Cuadrado earlier this week. Allegri may choose to hand the Colombian his debut, while Lucas Digne will hope to make his first appearance for Roma after joining Rudi Garcia’s side on loan from Paris Saint-Germain.
Digne is determined to make a big impression in the Italian capital, “It’s a great game to be involved in and a really important one for the team,” said Digne, who came through the ranks under Garcia at Lille. This is a great club, and a project that also includes the Champions League. Juventus are a really good side, who have won lots of titles and reached the Champions League final, so it’s a real test for my first game. We have to go out on Sunday and play our football, but still show them respect because that is what they deserve. We are a good side, and we will attack because that is how the manager wants to play, and personally, I want to show my best, and attacking allows this.”
Roma – held to a 1-1 draw by Verona last weekend – will need to overturn recent history if they are to prevail. They have won only one of their last 10 Serie A games against Juventus – that victory coming in February 2013 when Francesco Totti secured a 1-0 home win.