Juventus Manager Massimiliano Allegri discussed the Champions League Round of 16 second-leg between Tottenham Hotspur and Juventus at a Press Conference today.
Allegri’s Juventus find themselves as the underdogs heading into tomorrow’s highly anticipated second-leg after the first-leg ended in a 2-2 draw in Turin.
Paulo Dybala, Gonzalo Higuain and Mattia De Sciglio have recovered from their injuries in the past few weeks but Mario Mandžukić, Federico Bernardeschi, Juan Cuadrado and Benedikt Howedes have not made the trip to North London as they are all suffering from injuries.
“Both Higuain and Dybala will play. Higuain has been taking part in training for two days, so he is at our disposal and ready to play.
“Dybala is fully fit, as seen against Lazio, but tomorrow is such an important game that they all want to be a part of it, even if not at 100 per cent.
“There is a good chance that Douglas Costa will play. They could all play together, they might not. I’ve only got those three, so some of them have to play! Maybe I’ll remove a midfielder! Of course, we prefer not to go to extra time tomorrow, because we have a short bench at the moment.
“I don’t know how Tottenham will play, but considering the first leg result, there’s more pressure on them because they are the favourites. It’s like a Final for us and looking back at the first leg, we made a lot of mistakes to gift them chances, so we have to play better technically and take the ball off them, stop them passing it around.
“It won’t so much be a tactical issue as a technical one, of passing it cleanly and keeping the ball. We have to stay in the game, make few errors and take our chances when they present themselves.
“In a way, the Lazio game on Saturday was a good training session, because it was very balanced, physical and with few scoring opportunities and was decided by Paulo taking that one great chance. I expect there will be more space tomorrow, but we have to be very careful in defence.
“We have to keep possession better and it won’t be easy. We had more counter-attacking players when we were against Bayern Munich in 2016, but the characteristics of the players are different.”
Allegri was asked if Tottenham and Juventus’ Scudetto rivals Napoli had a similar style of play, but Allegri was less than impressed with the question.
“Napoli play with a tiny centre-forward, whereas Kane is two metres tall, so that’s a difference for a start. I don’t train either team, so you’d have to ask Mauricio Pochettino and Maurizio Sarri”.
Allegri managed Cagliari from 2008 until 2010 so the Juventus Manager commented on the unfortunate death of Fiorentina Captain Davide Astori, who played for Cagliari from 2008 until 2016. Astori passed away in his sleep on Sunday at the age of 31.
“I saw Davide grow up in a football sense, so I keep him in my heart. I think much has been said and silence is the best thing right now. Our thoughts are with his family and above all his little girl, who being two years old, never really got the chance to know her daddy”.