Juventus won't be thinking of Bayern ahead of Bologna match
18 February 2016, 22:51
Milan - Juventus can't afford to underestimate Bologna on Friday.
The Bianconeri beat Napoli last weekend to move top of Serie A but could be forgiven for having one eye on Europe ahead of the resumption of the Champions League next week and Tuesday's visit of Bayern Munich.
"We'll start thinking of that match Saturday morning," Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri said. "The match against Bayern is not the match of the season, it's obviously important, but there is the return match too."
Juventus could be four points ahead for the whole weekend with Napoli hosting AC Milan on Monday.
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Allegri insisted "the strongest line-up will play" but added that Paulo Dybala is likely to be rested and start on the bench Friday with Simone Zaza and Alvaro Morata up front.
"We're playing for a piece of the title," he said. "It's a fundamental match, in some ways more important than the one against Napoli, because if we win we'll be four points ahead and we can wait calmly for the result of Napoli-Milan."
"We must get the three points because Napoli won't give us an inch. First the aim was to reach them and go above them, now we must try to distance them."
Below the top two, the race for third and the final Champions League spot is tight, with four teams within six points of each other: Fiorentina, Roma and both Milan teams
Inter Milan hosts Sampdoria on Saturday, the day before Fiorentina visits Atalanta and Roma welcomes Palermo.
It's also the Verona derby on Saturday while on Sunday it's: Genoa vs. Udinese; Sassuolo vs. Empoli; Torino vs. Carpi; and Frosinone vs. Lazio.
Some things to know about Serie A entering this weekend's matches:
Bologna has nothing to lose.
It is a transformed team since Roberto Donadoni took over, climbing up from the bottom to 10th spot and beating Napoli, Milan and Sampdoria on the way.
It faces its toughest test, against a Juve team that has 15 consecutive victories, and needs just two more to match the Serie A record of 17 established by Inter in 2006-07.
"Juve will be keen to continue their hot run of form but the same goes for us," Donadoni said.
THE SPECIAL ONE
There could be two very special guests at San Siro on Saturday.
Jose Mourinho is meeting former Inter President Massimo Moratti for lunch in Milan and will then return to San Siro for the first time since leaving the Nerazzurri in 2010 after winning the treble of the Serie A title, Italian Cup and Champions League.
"He made history at Inter and his presence will strengthen the club even more," Moratti told the Italian national news agency ANSA.
Former Inter Milan forward Ronaldo is also in Italy and reportedly considering going to Saturday's match.
Ronaldo spent five years at Inter before moving to Real Madrid in 2002, shortly after winning a second World Cup with Brazil.
One player who won't be on the pitch at San Siro is Inter Milan midfielder Geoffrey Kondogbia.
The France international was handed a two-match ban in Serie A for a red card after the final whistle against Fiorentina for applauding the referee.
That match saw two other players sent off: Kondogbia's teammate Alex Telles for two yellow cards and Fiorentina forward Mauro Zarate, banned for three matches for putting his hands around Jeison Murillo's neck.
Inter and Fiorentina are appealing Kondogbia's and Zarate's bans.
Inter, which lost the match 2-1, refused to speak to the media after the match and the team went into a training camp from Wednesday until Saturday's match.