11.12.2018 18:30 - in: UCL S

      Allegri and Szczesny braced for tough game against Young Boys

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      The coach and goalkeeper spoke to the media ahead of Wednesday's meeting with the Swiss outfit

      Juve may be sure of their place in the Champions League knockout stages but there's still plenty on the line against Young Boys and Massimiliano Allegri is certainly not taking the game lightly.

      “We're playing for first place against a team who have fared well at home,” the coach said at a news conference at the Stade de Suisse on the eve of the Matchday 6 clash. 

      “We know we need to take this game seriously but I have a responsible group of players so I'm sure we will. We're aware of how important the game is because a bad result could have an effect on us – and we can't afford that going into the derby.

      “We mustn't think it's an 'easy' game because if you don't show opponents the respect they deserve you can come a cropper. 

      "We want to top the group because we're one of the best teams in the competition now and it's important to avoid the group winners. 

      “Over the years we've become one of the contenders to go all the way but the Champions League gets more and more difficult. Once you get to the quarter-final stage it's really tough and it's impossible to get an 'easy' quarter- or semi-final."

      The boss went on to reveal some of his starting line-up.

      “[Daniel] Rugani will play in place of [Giorgio] Chiellini alongside [Leo] Bonucci.

      “[Rodrigo] Bentancur is suspended for the Torino game and he'll start in midfield tomorrow, along with [Miralem] Pjanic. [Blaise] Matuidi will be rested and I think I'll give Emre Can some playing time. 

      “Douglas Costa and [Federico] Bernardeschi are fit and they'll be a big help, either from the start or off the bench. 

      “[Cristiano] Ronaldo is going to play up front but I still have to decide on the others. I don't think Alex Sandro will start as he's only just come back. If we'd already been sure of first place, I'd have rested Cristiano and a few others too...”

      Wojciech Szczesny is under no illusions about the difficulty of the match either.

      “We're expecting a tough game. Young Boys create lots of chances at home so we'll need to be switched on at the back.

      “It's really important for us to finish top of the group. We deserve to be top at the moment and we must make sure we still are after tomorrow, then we'll wait for the draw.”

      “The Polish shotstopper also commented on playing on the Stade de Suisse's artificial turf.

      “It is a bit different because it's faster but I'd happily to play these big Champions League nights on sand...”

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