Malmo duo Age Hareide and Magnus Eriksson claim that Malmo have got in their locker to beat Juventus tomorrow evening and keep their slim hopes of qualifying for the Champions League knockout phase alive.
While Juventus warmed up for the encounter with Saturday’s 3-0 win over Lazio, Malmo approach the game on the back of a 4-0 friendly victory over Finnish side HJK, given that the Allsvenskan season ended more than two weeks ago.
Yet the 61-year-old tactician insisted his men could go out and match Massimiliano Allegri’s men toe-to-toe despite a lack of competitive match sharpness.
Speaking to reporters in Sweden on the eve of the Group A meeting, he said: “Juventus may be sharper but we’ve been training hard and there’s also been an international break. We’re not worried.”
With Carlos Tevez currently in red-hot form for the visitors having scored 11 goals in all competitions, L’Apache has been earmarked as the key man for tomorrow night’s encounter by journalists.
But Hareide was quick to dispel any thought of making special arrangements for him or any of the other Juventus players: “If we were to go about marking each of their top players, we would end up completely changing our style of play. We’re at home and proud to be here. We’ll play like we know how.”
Sitting alongside his manager during this afternoon’s press conference was forward Eriksson, who caught the eye for the away side during the Bianconeri’s 2-0 victory over Malmo at Juventus Stadium in September.
The 24-year-old concluded proceedings by stating that he and his team-mates will go into battle with the reigning Serie A champions without a smidgeon of fear due to one particular weapon in their artillery.
He added: “It’ll be a completely different game from the tie in Turin because we’ll be in front of our own fans tomorrow and they’ll understand the magnitude of the match. We’re confident, we feel stronger in our own stadium and we have no fear of Juventus.”