Saturday March 9 2019
Spinazzola: 'Ready for Atletico'

Leonardo Spinazzola impressed against Udinese and put himself forward to start when Juventus host Atletico Madrid. “We must start strong.”

The former Atalanta wing-back made only his third appearance of the season in last night’s 4-1 victory over Udinese.

News Mattia De Sciglio is injured and unlikely to recover in time for Tuesday’s clash with Atleti means Spinazzola could get his Champions League debut.

“The Coach will decide,” the 25-year-old said on Sky Sport Italia.

“I feel good, my performance has improved since the last game against Parma and the knee is also doing better. Obviously, I only played three games in 2019, so it’s hard to find consistency and form, but I am ready.”

Joao Cancelo was suspended against Udinese, so Spinazzola was re-routed to the right with Alex Sandro on the left.

“Undoubtedly I do better on the left. I played on the right a few times for Atalanta when we were in an emergency situation and others were missing, but I definitely prefer to play on the left.

“Because of Atalanta, I am also accustomed to playing as wing-back helping out a three-man defence.”

With the lack of alternatives, Max Allegri hinted he could move to three at the back against Atletico Madrid, where they must overturn a 2-0 first leg deficit.

“We haven’t prepared yet, but the Coach has been firing us up ever since that night in Madrid. We must start strong, at 2,000km/h to make it very clear we can get through to the next round.”

So far, the Champions League Round of 16 has been about comebacks, as Ajax and Manchester United both lost at home only to eliminate Real Madrid and Paris Saint-Germain, while FC Porto knocked out Roma despite a first leg defeat.

“We hope to follow in those footsteps,” smiled Spinazzola.

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