Tuesday September 13 2016
Sampaoli: 'Sevilla bridge Juve gap'

Sevilla Coach Jorge Sampaoli believes Juventus “are on the same level as the biggest clubs, but difference on paper can be bridged with team ethic.”

The Champions League clash kicks off tomorrow at 19.45 UK time (18.45 GMT).

“Fortunately football is played by teams. If it was just individuals, then Juventus would be stronger, but we will play as a unit and see what happens,” said the Coach in his Press conference.

“The plan is similar to the one we had until now. I cannot give up on my idea of attacking football, because that is what we do every day and in every game. Some tactical structures might change, but the general concept is always the same.

“Sergio Rico will play, we have already decided.”

“We must play with passion for the shirt, realising how many people are behind us hungry for a result. It’s a challenging match and Juventus feel they can already win the trophy, so we must fight with everything we have.

“Putting in a strong performance here would give us the belief we’re almost on the same level as a great side like Juventus and provide confidence going forward.

“If we were to win and assume we’d be already through, it would no doubt make us trip up in future games. We must prove that we are a squad that can do battle with the mighty Juventus.

“Juve are on the same level as all the big clubs in the Champions League, because they added new quality players and kept the main core of the previous team, allowing them to build over time and give remarkable strength in depth.

“I like to bridge gaps, so hopefully tomorrow’s game will give me the chance to prove the differences on paper can be covered up by team ethic. We are convinced we’ll play a great match tomorrow, then whatever happens will happen.

“With that desire to do well, we will give our all to win.”

Sevilla have struggled in the Champions League before, but it was by finishing third in a group with Juventus last year that they qualified for the Europa League, going on to win it for a third consecutive season.

“We must without doubt prepare for a run of games in a packed schedule and keep a high level of fitness, so not everyone can play every match.

“The important thing is that every day we build the idea of a team facing difficult situations, such as when we reacted in a complicated situation a few days ago.

“The sensation I feel is that I have a great responsibility and we must defend the reputation of the Sevilla jersey in this competition.

“My team is doing well in all competitions, but you can never tell what results will be in football. I cannot predict what will happen. We just have to take it one game at a time and the Sevilla fans are well-represented by this team, I can assure them these players will give their all.”

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