Allegri short of midfield options for Juventus

Massimiliano Allegri is weighing up his options with several members of his Juventus squad unavailable for Saturday's clash against Empoli.

Following the international break, the Serie A leaders resume their bid to lift a fourth straight title at the Juventus Stadium.

However, head coach Allegri has problems in midfield with Andrea Pirlo (calf) and Paul Pogba (hamstring) still sidelined, while Claudio Marchisio's knee injury sustained while on Italy duty rules him out.

"Andrea Pirlo will miss out against Empoli, as will Claudio Marchisio and Paul Pogba," said Allegri.

"It's unlikely that we will see Pirlo on Tuesday against Fiorentina [in the Coppa Italia semi-final second leg].

"There are plenty of question marks hanging over the team. I'll have a good look in training."

Marchisio's injury caused controversy, with former Juve coach Antonio Conte, now in charge of Italy, the reported target of death threats over the issue.

It was originally feared that the midfielder would miss the rest of the season, but Allegri stated that he could return as early as next week.

"What's important is that Marchisio is in good shape and available, if not tomorrow, then next week," he added.

Allegri's side hold a 14-point lead over Roma at the top of the table, but warned his side not rest on their laurels against an Empoli side who have not lost since January.

"We'd be two third of the way towards the Scudetto title with wins over Empoli and Parma," he added.

"[But] Empoli are on an eight-game unbeaten run. It's important for us to swiftly get back into the swing of things.

"All of our opponents pull out the stops against us. We're on the final straight and need to be at the top of our game."