Manchester City take on an out-of-form Juventus at the Etihad Stadium in their opening UEFA Champions League Group D clash, but manager Manuel Pellegrini is taking nothing for granted ahead of Tuesday night’s meeting
Juventus have begun the Serie A season in terrible form with two losses and a draw in their opening three games, in stark contrast to Manuel Pellegrini’s Manchester City who have won each of their opening five games of the new English Premier League season without conceding a goal.
However, the Chilean manager has insisted that his team will need to be at its best to overcome the UEFA Champions League finalists from last season. Meanwhile, his Italian counter-part Massimiliano Allegri has called for his side to show ‘intensity and courage’ to get their season back on track.
Pellegrini aware of the quality in Juventus squad
Manchester City have had few problems in the Premier League thus far, winning their opening fives games and conceding no goals in the process. A tougher test awaits on Tuesday night, however, when the Citizens take on Serie A champions Juventus in their Champions League opener.
Addressing a press conference ahead of the Group D clash, Pellegrini is quoted by the club’s official website as saying: “We are not thinking where we are going to get to in this year’s Champions Leauge we are just thinking about tomorrow.
“We want to qualify to the last 16 and after that you must see the draw, the most important thing is tomorrow.
“I think we play against a very strong squad, thata s why they won the title four years in a row and made the final of the Champions League. Maybe they didna t start that well but they continue to have very good players. If we want to win we must play very well.”
Allegri targets positive result at Manchester City to turn season around
Massimiliano Allegri has endured a difficult summer thus far, with the Bianconeri undergoing an overhaul of their squad. This has led to a poor start to their Scudetto defence. However, the Italian believes a positive result against Manchester City could act as the catalyst for change.
“We need to boost our self-belief a bit too, because at the moment that is perhaps lacking,” admitted Allegri in his pre-match press conference (via UEFA.com). “All of a sudden you win a game and the team is much stronger than it was before.
“We got to the Champions League final last season and the reason was that the players played a European style of football, a different type of football. If we just base ourselves on what happens in Italy, I don’t think that’s very helpful for Juventus.”
The former AC Milan manager also highlighted the qualities his side would need to show at the Etihad on Tuesday to get a positive result. a Wea ll need to show plenty of intensity and courage and also be at the races from a technical standpoint,” Allegri is quoted as saying by the club’s official website.
“A focused display will be required against one of the strongest teams in Europe.a