Szczesny and Allegri’s presser before the Young Boys game

Juventus Live wire

Wojciech Szczesny and Massimiliano Allegri talked to the press yesterday to preview the clash with Young Boys. Here is what the goalie had to say, starting with the synthetic pitch: “It makes a little difference, it is a quicker ground, but as far as I am concerned I would play even on sand if it was a Champions League fixture.”

On the game: “We expect it to be difficult, they created problems to both Valencia and Manchester United. We do have an excellent back-line, there is no disagreement there.”

On the top spot in the group: “It is essential, we deserve it and we have to confirm that today, so we can face the ballot with more serenity.”

On the save on Mouctar Diakhaby in the previous match: “It was a key save in a crucial moment, but that is my job. Sometimes you are not able to pull that off, but when you do manage, it is always nice for a goalkeeper.”

The coach expanded a little more: “This fixture is more important than the Inter one because the first position is on the line and that is one of our seasonal goals.”

On the lineup: “Giorgio Chiellini will not play, Daniele Rugani will pair up with Leonardo Bonucci. Rodrigo Bentancur will start, while fielding Alex Sandro would be dicey, even though he is available. Cristiano Ronaldo will be out there, then I will decide the others.”

On Young Boys: “We have to try to win the game, we will need a grown-up performance. We are a responsible team, a negative result would be a drag that would stick with us for a while and we do not have time for that. We have the Derby coming up in three days, we have to keep bringing home good results. They played well in Manchester, with personality. If you do not perform like that, you could get crushed. It will be cold, we will play on synthetic field: we will have to be alert.”

On Ronaldo: “If it was not a deciding game, he would have rested, like few others. Chiellini will be spared because he gets hurt on this type of pitches. Even during the walkabout I asked him to take it slowly.”

On finishing first: “Real Madrid, Barcelona and Manchester City did the same, it would be important for us.”

On Champions League: “It is way more competitive, there are several teams that have a chance to go deep: the aforementioned ones, then us, Bayern Munich, PSG, Liverpool. The round of 16 could be the only one to be a little easier, if we grabbed the top spot, otherwise we will face a great club. It will become very tough in the following matches.”

On the midfield: “I have two and a half midfielders available. Blaise Matuidi will not feature, he will be on the bench. Miralem Pjanic and Rodrigo Bentancur will be forced to play, Emre Can could get some more minutes during the game, he could replace Pjanic.”

On Federico Bernardeschi and Douglas Costa: “They are both fit, they are re-finding an optimal condition, physically and mentally, they will both help us either from the start or off the bench. We need everybody, also for Saturday.”

On Sandro: “He has been called up, but throwing him in right away here seems risky to be. He will be ready for Saturday. I do not care about lingering effects or how much we will have left in the tank, because we have to give our whole. We will have to get over it because of the Derby on Saturday.”

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