Following a horrendous start to the domestic campaign, Juventus simply can’t afford another misstep. The Bianconeri will play their first Champions League fixture of the season on Tuesday night, and Max Allegri knows very well the importance of a victory away at Malmo.
The Swedish side is arguably the weakest in a group that also contains Zenit St. Petersburg and defending champions, Chelsea. Therefore, anything less than a first matchday win could destroy what’s left of the team’s shaky morale.
The returning manager held his pre-match press conference on Monday, and once again, defended his under-fire goalkeeper, Wojciech Szczesny.
“The situation now cannot be compared to the last game here,” Allegri said at his press conference as translated by Football Italia. “We have to win to lay the right foundations and to face the group in the best possible way.
“In football you can never predict what will happen, we must try to make the right things happen. At this moment in the League, it has not gone well, despite the fact that the team has behaved well.
“Tomorrow, we must be focused on the Champions League. It will be important to play a technical game and give away few set-pieces,” Allegri said. “They are a very physical team.
“The games must be faced with serenity and we must know what to improve regardless of the results.
“We have to keep working. In football, sometimes things that you don’t expect happen.”
“Szczesny is a top-level goalkeeper, and he will absolutely play tomorrow.”
The Livorno native reassured the fans on the conditions of Federico Chiesa and Federico Bernardeschi who were left behind in Turin. The two Italian internationals should be available for the next encounters.
“We have many great players up front,” Allegri said. “Federico Chiesa was not 100 per cent, so we preferred not to risk losing him for a long time.
“Federico Bernardeschi took a hit on Saturday, nothing serious, but we didn’t want to risk it with him either.
“Kulusevski is a guy who has important qualities, he needs to improve in managing the game. I’ll decide tomorrow if he will start the game.
“We are all responsible and in these moments we need an even greater sense of responsibility,” he said. “We have to improve in many things, even in managing the moments of the match and pay attention to the small details that make the difference.
“Juventus must set themselves the goal of entering the top eight every year in the Champions League,” he continued. “Then, from there, you always have to play it. We always have the desire to win.”