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Allegri: Injuries a part of football

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Manager’s pre-match comments

Juventus FC v Udinese Calcio - Serie A
Massimiliano Allegri 
Photo by Valerio Pennicino/Getty Images

Juventus manager Massimiliano Allegri is not expecting an easy game tomorrow despite the fact that Olympic Lyonnaise have lost three of their last four games in all competitions.

“When you play in the Champions League there’s no such thing as difficult games and easy games.

“Lyon had a good game against Sevilla, then in their last game they played Nice and went behind early which made it difficult to recover.

“Tomorrow will be a difficult game, because the Champions League is difficult to play in, both for them and for us.

“Lyon are a tricky team, especially at home, and they have quality players up-front in [Nabil] Fakir and [Alexandre] Lacazette. They’re an organised team, and they play differently at home compared to how they play away.

“Fekir and Lacazette are two great players, really good on a technical level. They’re quick and very good on the counter-attack, so we have to be especially careful in those situations.”

Allegri was asked what he would consider a good finish in the Champions League, but evaded the question a bit.

“Pride for me this year would mean going through. It’s better to finish top, but the next stage is crucial because it would be the seventh year in a row that one of my teams made it to the next round in the Champions League.

“So that would be a major achievement.

“As for the growth of the team, there’s been a steady improvement in Europe. Basically, we played the final [against Barcelona] on June 7 [2015] and in a year and a half we’ve changed 16 players, 10 last year and six this year.

“Fortunately the club provided me with good players and the team has grown since starting six years ago.”

The Bianconeri have ground out some results recently without looking very good.

“It doesn’t bother me at all, partly because the season lasts 38 games.

“I’m pretty confident that, given it lasts for 38 hard games, it’s not easy for a team to win if they play 38 bad games.

“In the end what matters is the final result, on May 31 when the League season ends, and you have to be on top then. Because then next year, in the roll of honour, they’ll write who won the League, not who played well and who played badly.

“That said, there are some teams who have played really well, Napoli and AC Milan are playing good football.

“Milan are returning to fight for the top three positions and the Champions League, they’re doing really well and they have good kids, good players.

“Just the same, AS Roma played really well on Saturday [against Napoli], but there are moments.

“Juventus have our own techniques and character, and we have to use that to try and get through and try to win in all the competitions we compete in. That’s the most important thing.

“We’ll work to play better, and sometimes our rivals will play a bit worse.

“The lads have taken seven wins out of eight in the League, the only game we lost was in Milan against Inter and now we have to keep going.

“Right now the important thing is to pick up points in the Champions League and progress in the Champions League.”

On Juve’s extensive injury list -

“I’m not worried. We can’t do anything other than play the players who we have available. This can happen during the course of a season, and every year there will be a period where you’re missing maybe three or four players.

“No-one would want this to happen, but it’s part of football. I’m sorry for Mandzukic, who was injured this morning, but the important thing is he won’t be out for long.

“After that we’ll have him available, if not for Saturday then from Wednesday against Sampdoria.

“Marchisio is getting closer to returning to the pitch, meanwhile we have [Moise] Kean who is a good lad and [Juan] Cuadrado who can play in attack.”

What formation would he be likely to use tomorrow?

“More than a formation, I pick the players based on the characteristics they have. We’re working on trying to change things, but more than the formation it’s the way we approach the games.

“Let’s say that the formation you use on the pitch is all relative.”