Age Hareide and Markus Rosenberg say Malmo will be unburdened by the weight of expectation when they meet the Bianconeri in Tuesday evening’s Champions League Group A opener at Juventus Stadium.
The duo claim the onus to win is fully on Juventus and believe this could work in their favour as they look to celebrate their first ever appearance in the competition’s current format by causing an upset in Turin.
And with the Allsvenskan championship almost in its final weeks of the domestic campaign, Hareide suggested that his league leaders could be one step ahead of their Italian counterparts in terms of fitness and preparation.
Speaking at Juventus Stadium, the 60-year-old coach said: “It’s a must-win game for Juventus, while we’re not under that sort of pressure. They have only just started their league season and that could be an advantage for us, because players need time to gain match sharpness.
“We’re used to playing three times a week and possess two of the best strikers in Sweden. Tomorrow we need to remain focused, have plenty of drive and look to make the most of our set-pieces.”
Sitting alongside his manager, club captain and top scorer Rosenberg echoed his manager’s call for a focused approach, saying: “We’ll need greater discipline in Europe and it’s important to capitalise on the chances that may come our way. It’s a whole different ball game with respect to the league.”
The striker, who is now in his second stint with the Swedish side, ended proceedings by adding: “Coming up against a club like Juventus, you can’t plan everything to the letter of the law. You can only look to give your best.”