Juventus
    29.11.2017 16:32 - in: Serie A S

    Khedira: “Fully focused for Friday night”

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    Juventus midfielder, Sami Khedira, is raring to go ahead of the Bianconeri’s eagerly anticipated match against Napoli at the start of an important month in the 2017/18 season

    A big month for the Bianconeri is edging ever closer. Juve’s showdown at the San Paolo against Napoli this Friday night (20.45 CET kick-off) will be quickly followed by equally important matches against Olympiacos in Athens and two eye-catching fixtures at Allianz Stadium against Inter and Roma.

    Now in his third season at Juventus, Sami Khedira is no stranger to challenges of this nature. ‘Focus’ was the watchword for the Germany international, who urged his team-mates to keep growing as the season progresses to build upon the clean sheets registered against Barcelona and Crotone during the last week.

    Here is what Khedira had to say this afternoon to the Sky and Mediaset cameras in Vinovo:

    A BIG MONTH BEGINS IN NAPLES 

     

    “We’ve two games coming up in the league against Napoli and Inter, who are both going very strong and are currently ahead of us in the table. Of course, in the Champions League we’ve an extremely important match against Olympiacos where we have to win to be 100% certain of reaching the next round.

    “All in all, December is a key month for us. It won’t completely define our season, but we have to set off along the right track.”

     

    WORKING HARD TO IMPROVE 

     

    “Napoli are a strong and very compact team. They’ve kept together many of their players over the last two to three years and maybe that’s an advantage for them, but we have to stay focused on our own game.

    “We have to concede less goals as we’ve been letting in too many of late, so we must work on solutions to defend better as a team: it’s not just the defenders, goalkeeper or midfielders, but the whole team. That is where we have to improve. We’ve now kept two clean sheets in a row against Barcelona and Crotone, so we have to build on that going into the Napoli game.”

    LAST SEASON’S STRIKE AT THE SAN PAOLO

     

    “Of course it was great to score last season away to Napoli. The assist by Miralem [Pjanic] was very good and my strike wasn’t too bad either! If I can do the same again this time, I’ll be very happy.

    “That said, scoring goals isn’t my main aim, but I always try to help the team and I know that I can do that by finding the net on occasion.

    “We have to be very concentrated, because Napoli have a top attack. If there’s any space for me to exploit, I will for sure try to break forwards and look to help out the strikers. The fact that we have some midfielders who can score goals is one of the advantages that we have in this side.”

     

    PIPITA’S PROFESSIONAL APPROACH

     

    “Gonzalo [Higuain] trained today and I don’t know how he feels now. There are still two days until the game, but it’s not easy as he only had surgery two days ago.

    “What is certain is that Pipita is professional and he’s focused, so let’s see if he can play. That would be great of course, but if he can’t then we have a number of other forwards who can come into the team and they’re super players too.”

     

    SEVENTH STRAIGHT SCUDETTO THE AIM

     

    “Napoli-Juventus will be a high-class match between two top sides. We have to try to win the game and we hope that we can do it. At the moment we are just concentrating on Friday, as our primary target is to retain the Scudetto.

    “I know a lot of people talk about the Champions League, but our most important goal is that of winning the league. Therefore, right now we’re only thinking about Napoli and then we’ll have two to three days to prepare for Olympiacos.”

     

    GREATER COMPETITION CAN BE A GOOD THING 

     

    “Right now Napoli and Inter are above us, while Roma and Lazio just below us, so there are five teams who have the possibility to win the Scudetto this year. We, however, have to stay focused on our performances, our training and our season.

    “At the end of the day, I’m 100% sure that with these players, this coaching staff, facilities and supporters, we are all geared up to winning the Scudetto, but we have to make sure that we all do our jobs. We have to win our games, improve and reach the level of the last seasons when we’ve won the title.

    “It’s clear that this season is more competitive than previous ones, but that also makes the league more exciting and rewarding for us as well.”

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