Massimiliano Allegri says the Bianconeri will have to remain on their guard when they come up against a “physical and quick” Malmo side at Juventus Stadium on Tuesday night.
The reigning champions of Sweden have been in competitive action since they launched their Allsvenskan title defence back in March and undoubtedly have the edge over tomorrow’s hosts in terms of match sharpness.
But Allegri believes that with the right attitude and application, Juventus are capable of making their class shine through and start this season’s Champions League campaign on a positive footing.
Previewing the game in Vinovo, the 47-year-old began: “There are no easy games in Europe. All the teams are in it to win it because it's a short competition. It’s not a tournament that allows you rest on your laurels – you have to go out there to win matches.
“Malmo are certainly in better shape than us in terms of fitness, because the league starts a long time before Serie A does. They’re an organised team whose main strengths are their physicality and speed.
“We need to be right on our game, ensure that we make the most of our technical ability, move the ball quickly and keep it nice and tight at the back.”
Injuries to Arturo Vidal and Andrea Pirlo along with the European suspension of Roberto Pereyra mean the manager will be forced to shuffle his pack in midfield for the visit of the Swedes.
Providing an update from the treatment table, Allegri said: “Pirlo is coming on well and will up his workload before we take another look at him at the end of the week. Vidal’s working his way back to fitness and we hope to have him with us for Milan on Saturday.”
Kwadwo Asamoah is heavily tipped to return to the fold after sitting out Saturday’s 2-0 win over Udinese but the Tuscan tactician kept his cards close to his chest when quizzed on where the Ghanaian could be deployed.
“I have a couple of options in midfield and will assess them today. Asamoah is a player who can operate both out wide and more centrally.”