Tomorrow evening, Head Coach Maurizio Sarri will line-up his players on the field of Allianz Stadium against Bayer Leverkusen. It is a team that Juventus have only encountered just twice in the history of the Champions League, with the previous encounters coming in the group stages of the 2001/02 campaign. Speaking ahead of the game, Sarri touched on the importance of the encounter and the objective of the team, while Miralem Pjanic spoke about the progress the team has made this season.
Sarri & Pjanic preview Bayer Leverkusen
“Tomorrow will be difficult match against a very strong opponent. Bayer Levekusen is a team that holds the most possession throughout the Bundesliga, and they physical and they dribble with quality. We still have a lot of room for improvement. Our goal is to go all the way until the final in the Champions League, but it's a competition that can only be determined in certain moments. I am expecting a good result tomorrow. It will be a tough game and the first at home in the Champions League. Then we'll think about the next one.
“Aaron Ramsey has surprised me in his recovery from injury, and he was included very quickly in the team. I believe; however, he still has a lot of room to improve. I see a great level of application during training, which gives me hope. In the last two games, the ease of dribbling has increased. Now we need to speed it up and improve our scoring.
“The Champions League is the top competition. We must live it cheerfully and not with heaviness. My favourites to win? The English teams. The physical condition is growing, but it is also linked to the mental condition. Will someone rest? I don't know, it depends on this afternoon's training.”
"The coach has asked me from the start to keep hold of the ball more. I can see that the squad is progressing and we're becoming stronger. I'm looking at playing more long passes forward because I receive a lot of balls that can move well between the lines. I am at one of the strongest clubs in the world and my goal is always to become one of the strongest. I'm lucky to have had great coaches and great teammates. I feel like an important player. We are a beautiful group, very united and we are hungry to get to the top of all competitions.”
“When I trained Matthijs de Ligt at Ajax you could already see that he was a great player at 17. He is a great talent and there are not many players that good at that young of an age. We have studied Juventus well, this team plays at a top level and Sarri loves to play good football.”
“Cristiano is a very difficult player to stop so we're going to have to be compact in defence. However, there are also other dangerous players and I'll have to be at my best as well.”