With a few days having passed after Juventus’ capitulation against Real Madrid in the Champions League, the Bianconeri have an opportunity to get back on track this weekend. However, most of the talk continues to center around what befell Juve midweek and what the future holds.
Manager Massimiliano Allegri fielded questions ahead of the trip to Benevento tomorrow.
“We absolutely have to win tomorrow against a team that are doing well at home. We’re kicking off at three [CET] in the afternoon and It’ll be the first hot game of the season. There are only eight League matches left, so we have to win.
“We have to maintain our advantage over Napoli, otherwise we’ll boost their chances of winning (the title).”
What did he have to add to his comments following the Madrid game?
“These are things that happen when you face a great team. We did well for 60 minutes, our objectives haven’t changed. We must rid ourselves of the defeat. I’m not worried. We scored three goals against Barcelona last season.
“Football is like this, especially when you play in the Champions League. We suffered more against Barcelona, they didn’t score and we did. We did better than in Cardiff.
“The team has played at a high level against great teams in Europe.”
On tomorrow’s opponents and the approach to the game.
“Benevento are among the teams that have had the most attempts on goal, so we need to get back to being solid defensively.
“It all depends on our desire when we don’t have the ball. We need to pair anger with technical ability tomorrow.
“What we took from Tuesday evening must go into the game against Benevento, otherwise we’ll make life difficult for ourselves.”
He also provided a squad update.
“Everyone’s fine, barring Andrea Barzagli and Federico Bernardeschi. Wojciech Szczesny will play, Giorgio Chiellini won’t. Benedikt Howedes is unlikely to start but can be used.
“It’s possible that Mario Mandzukic and Juan Cuadrado will play from the first minute. We have more games coming up, so we need everyone. I still have to decide my team, but it’s likely Gonzalo Higuain will be out.”
“After Berlin, we changed nine starters and we now have 10 players born between 1990 and 1997. We’ve always counted on young players.
“Juventus don’t need to revamp themselves next season. We need another extraordinary transfer window.
“We’ve always changed ourselves, mixing young players with experienced ones. Now we have to think about the League, Coppa Italia and the Champions League, the latter of which needs a big performance from us because we’re only injured but not dead yet.”
The big defeat to Madrid only brought up another rash of questions regarding his future at Juve.
“The future is something I’m not thinking about because I’m thinking about the present. In a new cycle, my position would always be only that of Coach, of course.
“After Cardiff I thought about whether I still felt motivated, and then I decided to stay.”
There were a lot of fingers pointed at Paulo Dybala for the loss midweek.
“Contrary to what’s been said, Dybala had a good game against Real. Unfortunately, the red card affected his performance, but he had one of his best games in my opinion. I think he’s growing, especially at European level.”
Rodrigo Bentancur got the start in the key Champions League game over veteran Claudio Marchisio.
“If Bentancur, a lad born in 1997, with excellent qualities with a great future ahead of him, didn’t have these characteristics, he wouldn’t have played against Barcelona and Real Madrid.”