Massimiliano Allegri has called on his team to approach tomorrow’s Champions League semi-final return leg with confidence, knowing that two of three outcomes will take them through to June’s showpiece final in Berlin.
A 2-1 win in last week’s first leg sees the Bianconeri head into the game with the upper hand, but Allegri appreciates getting the better of the reigning champions at the Santiago Bernabeu is a different prospect entirely, and believes a mature and courageous display is key to coming away with the right result.
Speaking to the media in the Spanish capital, the 47-year-old said: “We’re 95 minutes away from Berlin and I see no reason why we shouldn’t believe in our chances.
“We can’t just think about defending, also because the more we have the ball, the less chance they have of scoring. Possession was practically even in the first game and tomorrow we’ll need to be even better.
“We’ll need to play with cool heads and be aware that, in contrast with Monaco, where we could aim for a goalless draw given their characteristics, getting a similar result here will be almost impossible.
“Bossing the game against Real, especially when they play at home, isn’t possible and I don’t think they’ll afford us a great deal of space in which to operate. So we’ll require courage and a decent performance from a technical standpoint.”
If Allegri’s prediction is to be proved correct, at least one Juventus goal will be required to reach the final, meaning he will be relying on strikers Carlos Tevez and Alvaro Morata to be firing on all cylinders, just as they were seven days ago at Juventus Stadium.
Analysing his front two, he said: “Carlos is an extraordinary player, not just in terms of his technical ability, but also his character as a whole. It’s always a pleasure to see him in action and he’s enjoying a great season in which he’s also scored important goals in the Champions League.
“Morata’s come on a great deal and has added consistency to his game. He offers important technical qualities and is maturing psychologically. Playing every three days isn’t like getting the odd game here and there, and this is a step that younger players need to make.”
Reaching the Champions League semi-final is undoubtedly a magnificent achievement for all associated with the football club but, with the correct approach and mentality tomorrow night in Madrid, Allegri is looking to go that one step further by fulfilling every coach’s dream.
“When you start out as a coach I believe your greatest objective is to win the Champions League. It’s certainly not a game like all the others, but myself and the entire team need to keep cool heads. I’m happy I’m here to enjoy this experience, hoping to come away with an important result.”
Also on the agenda in Allegri’s pre-match press conference was the fitness of Paul Pogba, who made his long awaited return from injury by scoring in Saturday’s 1-1 home draw with Cagliari.
The Tuscan tactician revealed that the young Frenchman was in contention to start, and backed him to demonstrate his mettle on the world stage if needed.
He said: “Paul’s in good shape, and I think there is a chance that he could start tomorrow’s game. He’d be able to show his quality by putting in a mature performance.”