Soccer-Juve's Allegri hopes return of key players will turn things around


FILE PHOTO: Soccer Football - Serie A - Juventus v Salernitana - Allianz Stadium, Turin, Italy - September 11, 2022 Juventus' Juan Cuadrado and Moise Kean during the warm up before the match REUTERS/Alberto Lingria

(Reuters) - Juventus manager Massimiliano Allegri hopes that the return of key players will help to turn things around for his team after a disappointing start to the season.

Allegri's squad have had only two wins and four draws in their first seven Serie A matches and are eighth in the standings, 10 points behind leaders Napoli ahead of Sunday's home game against Bologna. They lost 1-0 at lowly Monza in the last round, with central player Angel Di Maria being suspended for two games.

"Tomorrow, a new season begins. The first month went badly, even though we had a good start with the first three games in terms of performances," Allegri told reporters on Saturday.

"The players have all come back well from their national teams. I have a larger number of players available to be able to manage the numerous games and we are also recovering important players."

While Paul Pogba and Federico Chiesa are still out with injuries, Juan Cuadrado and Arek Milik will return after suspension.

"Tomorrow, Alex Sandro, Adrien Rabiot and Manuel Locatelli will all return to the squad (after injury) and all three of them are good both mentally and physically; they are ready to play," Allegri said.

He said Chiesa would start with ball training next week after being sidelined since January due to a torn ligament.

"A block of 12 games begins tomorrow, and we need to be good at managing the team by taking things one step at a time. When you lose, you always go through bad periods," Allegri said.

"We have looked at everything in these two weeks to analyse what could be the problem. We have to find a solution and do something more, with different management of the unexpected."

(Reporting by Tommy Lund in Gdansk; editing by Clare Fallon)

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