Mourinho and Allegri, declared enemies, meet again in Serie A

Declared enemies from day one, José Mourinho and Massimiliano Allegri have never been afraid to come face to face.

The coaches have deeply disliked each other since Mourinho’s first season in Italy. The Portuguese was irritated when Allegri was awarded Cagliari’s manager of the year, despite the fact that Mourinho had won his first Serie A title with Inter Milan.

After leading Milan and then Juventus, Allegri came to call Mourinho “pathetic” and “disrespectful.” Mourinho used to make provocative hand gestures towards Allegri’s Juve supporters, most recently in a Champions League match against Mourinho’s Manchester United in 2018.

Now, with Mourinho back in Italy after a decade and Allegri back in Turin after two years off the bench, the rivalry will be resumed on Sunday when Mou’s Roma visit Max’s Juventus.

It is also seen as a key game of the season. La Vecchia Signora had three victories before the FIFA date after a bad start to the season. Roma will meet a candidate for the scudetto for the first time this season.

Both coaches need convincing victories to remove the labels of “conservatives” when now in Italy more offensive football is imposed, which was reflected in the consecration of the Azzurri in the European Championship.

After being fired by Tottenham in April after 17 months at the London club – his shortest stint at a club since making his debut at Porto earlier this century – Mourinho has shown signs of change.

While his previous teams were the target of ridicule for defending themselves in the extreme, saying that he put a bus in front of the goal, his Roma has stuck.

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To the beat of captain Lorenzo Pellegri, Jordan Veretout and newly acquired Tammy Abraham, the capital’s club have scored five more goals than Juve after seven Serie A games.

However, Abraham will not be able to play this weekend after being injured with England. Pellegrini could not train during the week because he felt feverish.

After failing to win any of the first four Serie A games, Juve finally woke up by beating European champion Chelsea 1-0 in the Champions League.

Leonardo Bonucci, Matthijs De Ligt and Giorgio Chiellini formed a defensive wall and Federico Chiesa violated Chelsea’s defense to score the only goal.

Beyond that, Juve have returned to Allegri’s first cycle defensive style, which contributed to Cristiano Ronaldo’s departure.

Without the Portuguese star, scoring goals has been an ordeal. And with Álvaro Morata out due to injury and Paulo Dybala without being one hundred percent, Chiesa has remained as the only guarantee in the attack.

Sunday’s appointment will mark the first time that Mourinho will be present in Turún since 2018. It will also be the first weekend of Serie A, in the midst of the pandemic, in which the stadiums will have a maximum capacity of 75%.

A hostile reception for Mourinho and a cold handshake with Allegri are expected.

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