Juventus have the early kickoff tomorrow in the last round of the Champions League group stage games as they host Swedish side Malmo. The top two spots in Group H remain to be settled with Juve needing to better the result of defending champions Chelsea who are away at Zenit St. Petersburg to win the group.
Speaking during the pre-match press conference, coach Massimiliano Allegri provided a squad update including news on some injuries.
“Tomorrow Mattia Perin will play in goal, Daniele Rugani, Alex Sandro and Adrien Rabiot will also all start. I hope that I can give some minutes to Mattia de Sciglio too. As for the rest, we’ll see, we also have to play well in order to prepare for Saturday.
“Dejan Kulusevski will be back next week [after his minor surgery]. Both Koni De Winter and Fabio Miretti will be called up for the game, Matias Soulé cannot be on List B.
“We hope to give some minutes to these guys who deserve it. Arthur could also play tomorrow. Paulo Dybala needs to play and tomorrow he will. Leonardo Bonucci could also be another who starts.”
The Bianconeri will be looking to bounce back from the hiding they received at Chelsea, and now have won two straight games in the league against lesser opposition.
“We are a little more organised on the pitch, but it’s not certain that we will use the same formation from the last few matches throughout the season. For example: tomorrow we have players available to play out on the wings.
“The important thing is to approach the game well, to express ourselves, to play a good game and win. We’re behind in the league and the top four are moving very fast. We have to keep winning, step by step, then we’ll see.
“Winning is important, because when you win games you are more satisfied and you work with greater serenity. I think the favourites for this edition of the Champions League are: Liverpool, Bayern, Manchester City, Real and PSG.
“We have to create the conditions to do better than in the last two years in the Champions League. We have to get into the Last 16 in good condition and then another tournament begins. On Monday we’ll see who we draw and you also need some luck to go your way.”
Meanwhile, Adrien Rabiot was the squad member who joined him to meet the media and the Frenchman claimed that the Juve fans are yet to see the best of him.
“I am a central midfielder, but I can adapt. I prefer to play centrally, but I can help out the team by playing in a wider role. The coach asks me to score goals and provide assists. It will be better for me and the team if I can improve these aspects of my game.
“I did some things well, others not, but I think above all I have improved tactically in Italy. We play very differently to the way I did in France.
“As for the jeers, I am a professional, I know football. I will give everything for the team, playing well, that is the only way to change things. I am well aware that fans haven’t yet seen the ‘real Rabiot’ here. I am still young, I can continue to improve and must find a way to achieve that. I am working on it.”