Claudio Marchisio and Andrea Pirlo returns delight Juve coach Allegri
Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri says he is delighted to be able to welcome Claudio Marchisio and Andrea Pirlo back into action as the Bianconeri prepare for a crucial few weeks.
Marchisio was included in a 22-man squad named by Allegri for the trip to Fiorentina for the second leg of a Coppa Italia semifinal tie on Tuesday night, just over a week after his season was deemed over when he injured his knee while on international duty.
Pirlo will make his return from a six-week lay-off for the weekend's trip to Parma with both expected to be back at full strength just in time for when Juve host Monaco in the first leg of their Champions League quarterfinal tie on April 14.
"Marchisio's in good shape and having a few days off appears to have done him some good," Allegri said at a news conference. "I'll have to evaluate today whether or not he will play.
"Andrea will join the team in training again from tomorrow. It's important to have him available again as soon as possible, and then I'll have to assess whether he's 100 percent or not. The good thing is we're gradually getting all of our injured players back."
Allegri is going to need strength in numbers for the next fortnight in which they can achieve several key objectives in their season. Just a few more wins could see them mathematically crowned champions of Italy for a fourth straight season while they face Monaco home and away for a place in the last four of Europe's elite club competition.
On Tuesday night, they need to recover from a 2-1 deficit from the home leg to oust in-form Fiorentina from the cup and keep their hopes alive of a domestic double and potential treble. Allegri has warned his side they will have to be patient at the Stadio Artemio Franchi, however.
"It's never easy to win in Florence," he said. "It's an important game for them, as it is for us. It's going to be a long game and we're going to need a lot of attention. We mustn't be under the illusion that we can win the game in half an hour and become anxious about turning the tie around immediately. "In modern football, anything can happen in the final 15 minutes."