The boss Massimiliano Allegri gives his thoughts ahead of Tuesday’s Champions League Last 16 home leg against Tottenham Hotspur.
“We know that the tie will be won over 180 minutes and, for that reason, I would be happy with a clean sheet tomorrow night. It’s a very evenly balanced match, so that means we have to be extremely focused and on our toes. We need to use all of our tactical intelligence to contain Tottenham’s qualities and play an excellent game from a technical standpoint, as to take them on in a physical battle would be the wrong approach.”
“With Blaise Matuidi out injured, we will have to play a line-up with slightly different characteristics. Stefano Sturaro is perhaps the closest to Matuidi in terms of attributes, but I also have Claudio Marchisio and Rodrigo Bentancur available and both have impressed me. I’ll decide tomorrow who plays once I’ve woken up. Let’s see how I sleep tonight!”.
HIGUAIN OVER HARRY
“Given the choice between Gonzalo (Higuain) and Harry Kane, I would still pick Pipita as my number 9, even if Kane is proving to be a top-class striker.”
GROWING STATURE IN UCL
“It’s a source of great satisfaction for the club that we have grown a lot in Europe over recent years. Reaching two finals in three seasons is no mean feat and only Real Madrid have done better than us in the Champions League during this time. Being mentioned in the same conversation as clubs like Real, Barcelona and Bayern Munich is very important for us and will continue to be so for a long time to come. It’s crucial to be playing regularly in the Champions League knockout rounds. That’s what we’re doing and our confidence has grown a lot.”