Juventus
    Juventus
      30.10.2017 19:30 - in: Champions League S

      Allegri wary of Sporting threat on home soil

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      The Juventus boss previews Tuesday night's Champions League Group D game away to Sporting Clube de Portugal

      Sporting will be a tough nut to crack but that is what Juventus must do on Tuesday night to ensure qualification to the Champions League knockout stages.

      That was the message Massimiliano Allegri delivered on the eve of the match in Lisbon, clearly eager for his side to secure their place in the last 16 at the earliest possible opportunity.

      “Sporting are a tough outfit, they're very strong defensively and they made it hard for Barcelona here at home,” the coach explained during Monday's pre-match media conference.

      “We must be very wary of them and manage the various stages of the game well. We have to leave here with a good result – which means a win – as it would mean booking our spot in the next round.”

      After a tiring but ultimately successful trip to Milan at the weekend and another league fixture against Benevento to come before the international break, the boss is aware of the need to manage energy levels carefully.

      “The players must stay calm up until the game then switch everything on full whack so that they can produce what's needed to win the game – belief, technical ability and hunger for victory. Once the final whistle blows, we can switch off again and unwind, because when you're playing every three days you have to make the most of time between games to recuperate.”

      SELECTION DOUBTS

      Unlike on previous occasions, Allegri was not in the mood for revealing his line-up and wouldn't clarify who will start at right-back tomorrow.

      “Our options are [Mattia] De Sciglio, [Stefano] Sturaro and [Juan] Cuadrado.

      “As for [Blaise] Matuidi, I need to have a look at him because he picked up a knock in Milan." 

      The coach was also asked about Juve's formation and whether they could switch to a 4-3-3.

      “It would be easy to do – we'd just need [Paulo] Dybala to drop back into midfield...”

      DOUGLAS COSTA, DYBALA AND MANDZUKIC

      Allegri went on to field a number of questions about specific players.

      “Douglas Costa is fine. He played well against SPAL and he offers me an extra option on both flanks, either in the starting line-up or from the bench.

      “Dybala is playing better and better and that's the main thing. Sooner or later they'll start going in for him again.

      “[Mario] Mandzukic is a gritty, versatile player capable of playing anywhere he wants. I think he could even play in midfield.”

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