Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri confirmed Wojciech Szczesny and Matthijs de Ligt will play against Malmö FF in the Champions League and stressed the Bianconeri ‘have to win’ in Sweden.
Allegri returns to the Champions League with Juventus and it’s a special opening game against the Allsvenskan side.
Malmö FF was actually the Juventus coach’s first opponents in the competition with the Bianconeri in 2014.
But the Old Lady arrives after a difficult start to the season and fresh from a 2-1 defeat to Napoli in Serie A last weekend.
“The situation now cannot be compared to the last game here,” Allegri said at a press conference. “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.”
The Juventus coach hopes to see a determined team, avoiding conceding too many set-pieces against a ‘physical’ Swedish side.
“Tomorrow 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.”
Italia media have criticised Poland international Szczesny after the first three games in Serie A, but the coach defends his shot stopper.
“Szczesny is a top-level goalkeeper, and he will absolutely play tomorrow.”
The Bianconeri defender Leonardo Bonucci also supported the goalkeeper and told Szczesny to block out the criticism from the media.
“After Napoli, we only focused on training,” he said at the press conference. “Szczesny must feel comfortable and not give any importance to criticism.
“We must all stay focused on the pitch to ensure that this moment passes as quickly as possible.”
Massimiliano Allegri continued to praise the attackers in the squad and said he has yet to decide if Dejan Kulusevski starts in his homeland.
“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.”
But the coach admitted his team ‘must improve many things’ to start winning again.
“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.”
Allegri revealed Juventus target a place in the quarter-finals of the competition and claimed anything can happen ‘from there’.
“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.”
Allegri finished the press conference by confirming Dutch centre-back De Ligt ‘will play tomorrow’.
Al via la conferenza stampa di presentazione di #MFFJuve 🎙️
— JuventusFC (@juventusfc) September 13, 2021