Sports, Football

Juventus look to build on Chelsea win in Turin derby


By AFP
Published : 01 Oct 2021 09:43 PM | Updated : 02 Oct 2021 04:18 PM

Juventus head into Saturday's Turin derby in the unusual position of being behind city rivals Torino in the Serie A table, but have started to find some momentum in recent weeks.

Massimiliano Allegri's side made a nightmare start to the season as they looked to regain the title which was lost to Inter Milan last term.

A five-match unbeaten run, capped by an impressive Champions League win over holders Chelsea in midweek, has raised hopes that the Old Lady have turned a corner.

"We showed the Juventus spirit tonight, and that's what the coach asks of us," winger Federico Chiesa told Amazon after scoring the winning goal on Wednesday.

Juve had to rally late just to secure Champions League qualification by finishing fourth last season under Andrea Pirlo, with their bid for a 10th straight Scudetto never getting off the ground.

The return of Allegri, who led the club to five straight titles from 2015-2019 and two Champions League finals in his previous spell as coach, was expected to end the Turin giants' woes.

Juventus found themselves languishing at the wrong end of the table after four matches, though, and are still yet to keep a Serie A clean sheet this campaign.

But the old defensive resolve was there against Chelsea as the European champions failed to create a clear-cut chance despite dominating possession.

Further forward, Juve have a potential star of the future in Euro 2020-winner Chiesa.

The 23-year-old had been criticised by Allegri after a slow start to the season, but his manager believes he can become a striker -- like his father, former Italy forward Enrico Chiesa. "He is absolutely not at 100 percent and this was the first real time he has played as a centre-forward," Allegri said. "I told Federico my evaluation, which is that he can play as a centre-forward or a support striker." Juventus are unbeaten in their last 14 meetings with Torino, whose most recent derby victory was a 2-1 success, also at Turin's Stadio Olimpico, in April 2015.

Juve sit 10th in the standings, below Torino on goal difference.

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