Allegri and Can speaks before the clash with Ajax

Juventus Live wire

Massimiliano Allegri and Emre Can met the press ahead of the Ajax game yesterday evening: “Mario Mandzukic is out, I have to decide whom to pick to replace him: Paulo Dybala, Moise Kean or neither. It is clear that if one of them starts, I will not field Joao Cancelo and Mattia De Sciglio together, which is a possibility. I will not make my pick until Wednesday morning.”

On the match: “The first leg does not count, we will have to respect Ajax when they will play in our half. We need to be alert, it will be a very long game, both sides will compete until the end. We will need the everybody’s contribution: the starters, the subs and the fans. It will be an important night that could allow us to reach an extraordinary result, it is even more important than the Atletico Madrid game. We will have to defend all together.”

On the comparison with the Amsterdam tilt: “I was certain there would be a goal there and I am pretty sure that will be the case again. We will have to be more attentive defensively.”

On Cristiano Ronaldo: “He is certainly better physically than a week ago. He has an amazing skill: he becomes a different player when it is game time, you can see it in his eyes. It would have been strange to be eliminated with him scoring just once, so he bagged three against Atletico Madrid and one in Amsterdam. We are lucky to have him. He is unlikely to be the captain: Paulo Dybala and Leonardo Bonucci are ahead of him in the hierarchy.”

On Ajax: “They performed better in Madrid than at home, maybe because they had to come back or they had less to worry about. We will have to do well when we will attack them, we will not limit ourselves to managing the lead. We will exchange blows. We will have to make them feel our physicality.”

On Mandzukic: “He has a knee problem, he tried out today but he stopped. You need healthy players for this kind of games, I can not afford to lose a substitution. Whoever is out there has to be a hyena. I have few ideas to replace him, but maybe I will change my mind once or twice.”

On Douglas Costa: “He will not start. He got hurt in Amsterdam, he is not great shape. I hope to see on Wednesday morning that he has enough in his legs to give me a good half an hour. He can be deciding even in those limited minutes.”

On Frenkie De Jong’s potential absence: “He is very good but it does change anything for us: we have to win and advance.”

On Leonardo Spinazzola: “Alex Sandro will start tomorrow. Leonardo played very well against Atletico Madrid, but it drained him. Daniele Rugani needed some rest too after the performance in the first game and recovered physical and mental energies. They need to become accustomed to this type of fixtures.”

On Dybala and Kean: “There are plenty of motivations tomorrow: we will need to run and a lot and help the teammates. The mental element is essential but you do not need the coach to underline that. There is not a right or a wrong pick for this match-up. We need to get away from the pressure earlier in order to find room, we did it only occasionally in Amsterdam.”

Here are Emre Can’s words: “I feel fine, I did not practice last week but now I am with the team, I am ready for tomorrow. I do not know what my position will be, but I would not tell anyway.”

On the team’s odds to win the cup: “It is important for the fans, for us, for everybody, but it will not be easy on Wednesday. They are a big team but we are not scared: we want to play our game and win. They are impressive. I believe and think we will come out on top tomorrow.”

On the match: “I do not think we will go for the nil-nil. We want to win and score, we will certainly try to do that.”

On penalties: “I was the only one to practice them after the training session.”

On Allegri: “He is a fantastic coach for what he has done in all these years at Juventus: the Champions League finals, the domestic titles, the way he studies opponents down to the little details.”

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