Juventus jetted out earlier today to England for a friendly game tomorrow against Premier League side West Ham United at their new Olympic Stadium home. In a press conference before the flight, manager Massimiliano Allegri spoke about midfielders Paul Pogba and Claudio Marchisio, as well as the traveling squad.
On replacements for Pogba -
“There's no point, he's a Juventus player. It's only fair that Jose Mourinho should choose not to talk of Pogba as long as he's a Juventus player.
“I called up Pogba for tomorrow evening, so he'll be in Vinovo for training on Monday. There's no point in discussing replacements for Pogba because right now he's a Juventus player.”
On the players he has been using in the preseason -
“Dani Alves is coupled with Stephan Lichtsteiner, whether there's a three- or four-man backline.
“Miralem Pjanic is a player who can play in front of the defence, or as a mezzala, although I do believe that his most appropriate role is the former. He should always be in the midst of the game.
“Marko Pjaca is a young lad with enormous qualities, he can play as a winger and also as a trequartista.
“Medhi Benatia? You already know him, I think, because he played in Serie A. Gonzalo Higuain was the top scorer last year, so he completes a very strong attack department alongside Mario Mandzukic, Paulo Dybala, Simone Zaza and the above-mentioned Pjaca.
“Tomorrow we'll play with a four-man defence, and I'll give you the formation now, so everyone's happy: Buffon; Dani Alves, Benatia, Rugani, Alex Sandro; Lemina, Pjanic, Asamoah; Pereyra; Dybala, Mandzukic. Neto will be subbed on for the second half.”
On Marchisio’s recovery from his ligament surgery -
“Marchisio’s recovery is progressing well. He’s started running and he worked with the ball. I think the recovery time is estimated for October.
“The difference between the start of October and the end of October is a difference of 30 days so we’ll say the middle of October!”
On Juve’s Champions League focus -
“As I’ve often said, from when I first arrived at Juventus and talked about the Champions League, the Champions League is a competition apart.
“It’s normal that when you raise the technical level of the team, you’ll have a greater chance of fighting for the Champions League.
“The Champions League is decided in March, and in March you have to be in top condition, both physically and mentally.
“Above all, it also takes a bit of luck because if they day before [a game] you get four players getting ill with flu, it’s normal that you then have four players less for the Champions League. “When you play a home leg and an away leg in the Champions League, you have no chance to make up for things so incidents become decisive.
“Juventus have always been obliged to aim for the best, because we all have the ambition to raise the bar and aim for the ultimate objective.
“As recently as a year and a half ago, Juventus played in a Champions League final.”