This Thursday, Juventus will host Sporting in the first leg of the Europa League quarter-finals before returning the visit next week.
After eliminating Nantes and Freiburg in a rather comfortable fashion, this will be the first stern test for the Bianconeri in the competition. After all, we’re talking about the club that eliminated Premier League leaders Arsenal in the previous round.
Moreover, former Juventus and Sporting midfielder Paulo Sousa picks the Portuguese for the win, even if he admits that the Italians remain extremely dangerous on counter attacks.
“Juventus is a typical Allegri team. He’s an experienced coach with undeniable prestige, and who is fundamentally focused on results,” said Sousa in an interview with Record via ilBianconero.
“His team plays comfortably in deep areas, giving the initiative to the opponent. This is because it’s a team that prefers to attack fast, often on the counterattack while utilizing the individual qualities of the players
“To be honest, I think Sporting will go through. Whoever eliminates Arsenal, the leaders of the Premier League with all their great players, cannot fear Juventus. They are capable of eliminating any opponent in the Europa League.
“However, Juventus feel at ease when pushed towards their last stronghold. They’re a very treacherous team in this regard. They seem to be struggling, but they’re not.”
The 52-year-old represented Sporting for a solitary campaign (93/94) following a stint with their intercity rivals Benfica. He then went on to play for Juventus between 1994 and 1996.
The current Salernitana manager famously won the Champions League with the Bianconeri in 1996, only to beat his former employers in the final of the 1997 edition while representing Borussia Dortmund.