22.07.2016 10:15 - in: Tour - Field S

    Allegri and Pjanic raring to go

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    Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri and midfielder Miralem Pjanic eagerly look ahead to the Bianconeri’s first outing of the season against Melbourne Victory at the MCG

    Some two months after lifting the Coppa Italia trophy to the sky in Rome to round off a stunning 2015/16 season, Juventus will take to the field to face Melbourne Victory at the legendary Melbourne Cricket Ground tomorrow morning (kick-off 11.00 CEST), as they get the ball rolling on their preliminary plans for the campaign to come.

    The men to preview the Bianconeri’s first outing of the Juventus Jeep Tour 2016, one of two fixtures to be played in this summer’s International Champions Cup, were coach Massimiliano Allegri and the club’s new number 5 Miralem Pjanic and the message from the pair could not have been clearer: the Italian champions are raring to go.

    Speaking at the AAMI Park, the regular season home of Saturday’s opponents and the site of Juve’s open training session today, Allegri made a point of praising the facilities at his team’s disposal Down Under before laying out his priorities for the encounter.

    “We’ve worked very well here so far thanks to both the cooler temperatures and the infrastructure put in place for us,” he began. 

    “Tomorrow’s match against Melbourne Victory will be very useful for us as far as fitness is concerned. Our other priority of course is to ensure that we don’t pick up any injuries. Victory have won three titles and so we will need to approach the game in the correct manner. There will be opportunities for a lot of the boys to get some game time, even some of the younger lads.”

    Before handing over duties to Pjanic, the Tuscan took time to comment on the immediate future of the team on their return from the Far East: "When we regroup in Turin, I will have a full squad to choose from. The club are working very hard behind the scenes and I am happy with our preparations so far ahead of the new season.

    "As far as I am concerned, Paul Pogba is still a Juventus player. The window is still open and in Miralem, (Medhi) Benatia, (Dani) Alves and (Marko) Pjaca we have already improved the squad with four top class signings. I am sure that come 31 August, we will have a very competitive group, ready to take on the challenges of both Serie A and the Champions League." 

    Echoing the boss’ opening words, Bosnian midfielder Pjanic, set for his club debut – excluding last week’s friendly in Vinovo against local outfit San Mauro – added that, as ever, the Old Lady will be out to beat their Australian hosts.

    “Our primary objective here in Australia is to prepare in the best possible fashion for the upcoming campaign but, at the same time, whenever you take to the field you want to win. These pre-season fixtures are crucial to get minutes under the belt but also to gain confidence.” 

    For Miralem, the desire to win everything possible is just one thing to take away from his first few weeks with the Turin club. Commenting on his move to the Italian champions he concluded: “The only thing that matters at Juventus is winning. After five fantastic years in Rome, I decided that now was the time to make a change.

    “This summer was the perfect opportunity to do so. Juve have huge ambitions for the coming season. I was aware of the club’s eagerness to bring me here and now I can’t wait to get the ball rolling with my new team-mates.”

    Neither can the thousands of Australian fans expected at the MCG…

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