Juventus are at the Vicente Calderon for tomorrow night’s blockbuster clash with last season’s runners-up Atletico Madrid and head coach Massimiliano Allegri and club captain Gianliugi Buffon spoke at the press conference ahead of the game.
Allegri stated: “We must put in a great performance and try to come home with a positive result. It’s going to be a difficult game, as Atletico Madrid make sporting aggression and set plays their biggest strengths.I expect it to be a very technical match. This team reflects Simeone’s character with incredible mental strength, unity and pressing for 95 minutes.Let’s not forget Simeone led this team to victory in La Liga, losing the Champions League Final by just one minute.”
He then threw some light on the possible starting XI for tomorrow.“I will decide between Llorente and Morata in attack. Morata did well coming off the bench on Saturday against Atalanta, scored his first goal and I was very happy with that.Caceres could come back into the line-up. This will be a particularly good test for our defenders against very physical strikers like Mandzukic.”
Asked about the target he has in mind for this competition, Allegri pointed out,“We should not set ourselves objectives, but simply do our best. The absolute minimum is to get through to the next round, then we’ll see how far we can go.”
Gianlugi Buffon comes up against Diego Godin who was the last man to score past him in the World Cup.The Juventus captain reflected on the task ahead of his side tomorrow night.“This is a fascinating game between two teams of great tradition. We want to measure ourselves up against Atletico Madrid to see what stage we’re at in our development.Atleti might’ve been considered a surprise until four or five years ago, but not any more. They’ve won the Europa League twice, won La Liga and last season were Champions League Finalists.This team is aware of its strengths and has international calibre. Everyone expects great performances and results, which wasn’t the case up until a few years ago.
He was asked also asked to comment on teammate Paul Pogba who is reportedly on the verge of extending his contract. “We are talking about a top level talent. If he maintains this focus and mentality, of having fun in a professional manner, then he can become one of the two or three best players in the history of French football.”
Buffon also had some words on the two Spanish strikers currently in Juventus pointing out the importance of Fernando Llorente who is yet to get off his mark this season.“Morata has just arrived and had to get over an injury, but with a lot of humility he recovered and is working hard at the disposal of the Coach.He is trying to learn and understand every tactical situation that Juve try to develop. Llorente is one of those players I’d always like to have in my team, both as a player and a person. He is always appreciated by the team for the way he behaves too.I would’ve been happy for him to be at the World Cup, but Spain have so many quality options that it can happen to be left behind.”
Juventus are currently the leaders of Group A thanks to their opening day win against Malmo.