NEWS
Tuesday March 15 2016
Allegri: 'Juve are not weakened'

Max Allegri explained the decision to not risk Paulo Dybala, but Juventus “are not weakened” against Bayern Munich.

The first leg ended 2-2 in Turin, the Champions League Round of 16 decider is tomorrow at 19.45 GMT.

“We have to go out there against Bayern without thinking about the result. We will have a great performance first and then we’ll see.

“We have to shake off pressure and remain sharp. This is a side that tends to control a game for 70 per cent of the time, but we saw they have weak points and we proved in the first leg we can take advantage of those.”

There are numerous injury issues for the Bianconeri, as Paulo Dybala, Claudio Marchisio and Giorgio Chiellini have not even made the trip.

“Dybala has a muscular problem. I didn’t call him up because I didn’t want to risk losing him for a month and ruining the rest of our season. If he came along, we’d be very tempted to let him play and it was a huge risk, so I made the decision to leave him behind.

“Having said that, those who step on to the field tomorrow have characteristics that will certainly give us some advantages.

“Mario Mandzukic is an extraordinary player for us, as he pressures the opposition and has a lot of character. He was out for two days, had his first training session today and I will evaluate tomorrow morning whether he’ll play or not.

“I heard people say earlier this was a ‘tragedy.’ Other things in life are tragedies. It’s a pity they are not here, but this is a strong squad and we’re only missing two or three players.

“Dybala could hopefully be available on Sunday, then we’ve got the break coming up so Chiellini and Marchisio should return after that.

“Alvaro Morata is in good shape right now and it would’ve been difficult for me to leave him out, so providence stepped in and helped me.

“Hernanes? I haven’t decided the line-up yet. As for Alex Sandro, it depends on it Mandzukic or Simone Zaza play. I hope the night will help me consider the situation, but as I doubt I’ll sleep tonight, it probably won’t!

“What did I think when I was told about the injuries? That I’d best pick someone to play, because otherwise we’d go there with nine players.

“Bayern Munich are with Barcelona and Real Madrid the best teams in Europe, so we just have to go out there and play good football.

“When we play in the Champions League, we do it for us and for Italy, because getting another place in the tournament would be good for Italian football.

“When you play against a side who is on paper among the favourites for the tournament, you must do well to reduce the two legs into one head-to-head. That is what we did, so now we have to win or draw 3-3, much like a Final.

“We have to play with excellent quality and defensive organisation, because we are facing a side that has an excellent attack. It’s like a Final, one of the two must go out, we hope it’s them.

“I do not agree with people saying Juventus are weakened by injury. We will have the right characteristics to trouble Bayern.

“I really don’t think Bayern will underestimate Juventus, as this is a Champions League Round of 16 tie and they know just as we do that anything can happen in a football game.

“In the first leg it wasn’t a collapse from Bayern, it was a great reaction from Juventus. It certainly won’t end 0-0 due to their attacking and defending characteristics.

“What happened in the first leg proves games are never over and that the Champions League is completely different to Serie A.”

Antonio Conte announced today he will be stepping down from the Italy bench after Euro 2016 and is expected to join Chelsea. What does Allegri think?

“Italian Coaches are very good. Apart from some exceptional figures like Pep Guardiola and Jose Mourinho, we are among the best. I don’t know if Conte will go to Chelsea. I’m sure he’ll do well if he does.”

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