Allegri demands Juventus unleash their Champions League anger on Serie A rivals

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Massimiliano Allegri wants Juventus to channel their Champions League "anger" and show the rest of Serie A they remain a force to be reckoned with.

Under-pressure head coach Allegri said Juventus would "play an unspectacular game if necessary" on Saturday to get the better of Lecce.

After recent wins over Torino and Empoli, Juventus are looking for a third Serie A victory on the bounce, but results in Europe have been dreadful by comparison, with defeats to Maccabi Haifa and Benfica dumping the Bianconeri out at the Champions League group stage.

Italian media have not been slow to link Tottenham boss Antonio Conte with a return to Juventus, possibly at the end of the season when the former Italy coach's contract expires at Spurs, though the Premier League club do have an option to extend that agreement.

But Allegri wants to prove his Juventus are not a busted flush, and a long streak of league wins would be timely, possibly for the 55-year-old's job security.

The last time the Bianconeri won three league games in a row without conceding was back in February 2021, but winning 1-0 at Torino and 4-0 at home to Empoli last weekend has set up that possibility.

Now Lecce stand in Juve's way, and Allegri said: "We have to react after the elimination from the Champions League and carry the anger with us throughout the Serie A season.

"We will have to play an unspectacular game if necessary. Up to now Lecce has always kept the games in the balance, we know the importance of tomorrow's match, we will have to take it on as a team, with great consistency."

He will be without striker Dusan Vlahovic due to injury, while midfielder Manuel Locatelli misses out for personal reasons, with Allegri taking a 19-player group.

Federico Chiesa and Paul Pogba are not ready to return from their injury lay-offs, while Allegri was unsure whether he would field young midfielders Nicolo Fagioli and Fabio Miretti.

Juventus have 19 points from 11 games, losing twice, and they trail leaders Napoli by 10 points.

Their next Serie A assignment, after this weekend, is a clash with improving Inter.

The Lecce game is far from a formality, but Juventus have lost only four of 32 previous Serie A encounters with the team from the Salento peninsula.

"Right now we have to do something more to get out of this situation," Allegri said, quoted on his club's official website.

"It's an opportunity for everyone, it's a time for growth, I have a group of guys who have important moral values. Talking about the Scudetto today is useless, now we have to react starting from Lecce."