UEFA Champions League


Massimiliano Allegri is no stranger to big European nights having managed Juventus to two Champions League finals in the last three seasons as manager and Tuesday will be no different as Real Madrid and the Bianconeri face off in a two-legged re-match of last year’s final. Here’s a selection of what the manager had to say at Monday’s press conference:

"Either Marchisio or Bentancur will play tomorrow and then I’ll evaluate between Rugani and Barzagli. Then I’ll decide who will be playing in the front. Dybala will play a great match, he’s in great shape and has been working very well and he’s grown a lot mentally too and developed a lot from these points of view. I’m sure you saw it in Saturday’s match too, the goal he scored shows he’s in great form. Both Mandzukic and Alex Sandro are in very good shape and whether they play from the beginning I’ll have to see tomorrow and see their condition. This could be an important change if he comes off the bench, he brings great physicality and could be a great option off the bench. We saw how Cuadrado was crucial so we have the whole squad minus the two banned players to handle the match in the best way".

"[Real Madrid] have such technique and precision and accuracy and speed, they are very fast and accurate when they break through so we have to react properly with our defense and we need our supporters because they will have to help us a lot. Whatever happens tomorrow is a gala night and everyone must be proud that their team in the last four years have reached two finals and tomorrow will be a quarter-final so these are important things to consider".

"The Cardiff match was a very important lesson to grow and improve. We could have managed the ball better in the second half and we have to be faster and deal with it in a more serene way. From this point of view, a psychological point of view, the team has certainly made very much progress. Real Madrid players are always very concentrated and exploit the weaknesses and they stay very relaxed in these types of matches and we have improved in this".

"We have to be very focused in the match which is something we didn’t do in Cardiff when it became 2-1. We weren’t as alert as we needed to be and you have to be concentrated when you play against Real. Of course, we might concede goals but over 180 minutes we will certainly have the chances to create goals also. We have to be focused, concentrated and committed because every player on the field is great. We really need to be in the match psychologically as well".

"In the last few years after many positive results, we should have confidence and trust in the way we deal with our matches with positivity and ambition knowing that we can play against a team like this one that has played three finals and has always been to the semi-finals since 2011. It should be further motivation to go ahead and do our best which we will do".

(Photo LaPresse)