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Allegri: Juventus must be ready to work hard against Sporting CP

Coach’s comments ahead of big second leg showdown in Portugal

Juventus Training Session And Press Conference Photo by Daniele Badolato - Juventus FC/Juventus FC via Getty Images

It was a bit of an anti-climactic day for Juventus as their appeal against the 15-point deduction was heard by the court, but no ruling made with the decision expected tomorrow now, with the team in Lisbon for a crucial Europa League quarter final second leg to play.

Speaking to the media during the press briefing, coach Massimiliano Allegri remained pragmatic.

“We await the sentence, we knew today was an important day both for the verdict and above all to prepare for tomorrow’s game and hope to reach the Europa League semi-final.

“Once we do get the verdict, we’ll set it aside and focus on the match. It is an important objective and not a simple one, because Sporting eliminated Arsenal and already showed against us how good they are.”

Allegri provided a squad update, with important news that Federico Chiesa could possibly miss the game.

“Wojciech Szczesny is fine, so is Adrien Rabiot who had a full training session. I have one doubt in midfield and one upfront, one of those doubts is Chiesa and I’ll decide tomorrow.”

Would the team be better served with Danilo play on the left to cover for Chiesa on his sojourns upfront?

“It’s not just about the tactical shape, it is about everyone being ready to work hard, help out and not allow Sporting those through balls. We must press them from the start to stop those moves developing.”

His opposite number Ruben Amorim already stated the obvious that Allegri will choose to sit back and defend the single goal lead.

“No, I think we need to play better technically, to move the ball around better, remember it is a long game and Sporting are well-organised with talented players.”

Juventus Training Session And Press Conference Photo by Daniele Badolato - Juventus FC/Juventus FC via Getty Images

Meanwhile, veteran defender Alex Sandro also spoke to the media welcoming the challenge.

“It was a very intense game and I expect this to be a repeat of the same level.”

Two consecutive losses in the league have set back their challenge for the top four, with youngster Nicolo Fagioli’s error setting up the winner at Sassuolo and the player bursting into tears when he was substituted.

“Every now and then it is good to cry and get it all out. We must respect his reaction and those of opponents too, whether we win or lose. Fagioli is young and already has experience, so it’s not right to say he is the future of Juventus, because he is the present of Juventus.”

What would getting the 15 points back mean to the players?

“Getting 15 points back would certainly be very important, but right now we only have to focus on tomorrow’s match and the Europa League.

“A win will help us grow as a team and continue our positive progress in every competition.”