Juventus boss Allegri sees 'five or six' teams in Scudetto race
As Juventus prepare to begin their Serie A defence, Massimiliano Allegri has predicted an open title fight.
Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri believes five or six teams are in the race to win the Scudetto this season.
Juve are seeking a seventh consecutive Serie A title, but go into the campaign having lost to Lazio in the Supercoppa Italiana.
Allegri's men host Cagliari on Saturday to kick off a new season the Juve boss thinks is wide open, urging his players not to be overconfident.
"If we all work with focus and apply ourselves properly from the first day, yes, we are favourites," said Allegri.
"But we are not favourites if we play our matches with a sense of entitlement about winning things.
"This year it will be a much more balanced championship and there will be five or six teams that will fight for the Scudetto.
"When you win in Italy for six years and do well in Europe, it is difficult to improve, your opponents strengthen themselves and the margin for error decreases.
"It is important to start well because we have a difficult end to the season, with three clashes against direct rivals in our last six games. We have to make sure that by March, we are still in contention in the league and Champions League."
He added: "In order to enjoy a great Champions League campaign, we also need to go well in Serie A. The two go hand in hand.
"The first league game is always something of an unknown quantity, but we played far below the level we ought to be at [against Lazio]. It is time to raise our game technically."
On links with Borussia Dortmund defender Sokratis Papastathopoulos, Allegri said: "It is not true that I talked to him – impossible."
Blaise Matuidi is on the brink of signing for Juventus from Paris Saint-Germain, but he will not join in time to face Cagliari.