One point tomorrow night might be all Juventus need in order to make certain of their place in the Champions League knockout stages, should Lyon fail to win against Dinamo Zagreb, but Massimiliano Allegri is only interested in steering Juventus to the last 16 irrespective of Group H’s other result on Tuesday evening.
How? By winning in Seville.
Here follow the Tuscan tactician’s standout statements from today’s press conference.
“In Paulo Dybala and Gonzalo Higuain, we have a couple of important forward players missing but I’m confident in the qualities of the rest of the squad to step up in their place.
“We had the chance to get one last look at Gonzalo this morning and on balance we decided that it would be an unnecessary risk bringing him with us particularly since the knock he sustained was in the same area as the one he received while on international duty with Argentina.
“Tomorrow night, we will either play with Juan Cuadrado in support of Mario Manduzkic or opt for three in attack, with one of Stefano Sturaro, Alex Sandro and Moise Kean filling in down the left.
“Claudio Marchisio and Miralem Pjanic are set to return in midfield and while Giorgio Chiellini is in the matchday squad, it’s unlikely that he will start the game.”
Here to win
“Only one result guarantees our qualification to the next round and that is a win. We need three points from the last two matches but we don’t want to have to wait until the final fixture to get them; we’re here to win and we want the job completed tomorrow night.
“We played well enough to get at least a point here last season and were unfortunate to concede from one of the few attempts on our goal. Sevilla are a subtly different proposition this time albeit an equally difficult one: we’re coming up against a team that is yet to concede in the competition and is currently occupying top spot in the group.
“While it is well-known that Sevilla have an excellent home record, we are confident that we can leave with three points. The players that I have at my disposal are more than capable of producing the kind of performance this important fixture demands.”
“Jorge Sampaoli’s men demonstrated their qualities at Juventus Stadium in the first meeting in September and have continued to play very well throughout the season so far. They are a side that likes to get on the front foot and take the game by the scruff of the neck but also one that is well-drilled at the back and capable of mixing it up physically when required. All of that, coupled with the fact that they are going very well in a competitive La Liga, are signs that we are in for a great night of European football.
“Regardless of what system we play, we need to be aware of the fact that we are coming up against tough opposition who have kept four consecutive clean sheets in the Champions League. I expect the first goal on Tuesday night will be absolutely critical and we need to make sure that it is us that scores it.”