Max Allegri confirmed that Angel Di Maria and Federico Chiesa are fit enough to be included in Juve’s match day squad but he will evaluate them before making a final decision. The Bianconeri boss was speaking ahead of their Europa League match with Freiburg where they carry a slender 1-0 lead to Germany this evening. In his pre-match press conference (as quoted by TuttoJuve) Allegri explained why he waiting to make a decision on whether to start Chiesa and Di Maria and why Serie A is doing well this season with so many Italian teams progressing in European competitions:
What will make the difference tomorrow?
“To bring home a good result we have to do a little bit of what we did in the first leg. We were very orderly and patient, order will be the key.”
Is it easier for you to prepare for the Europa League?
“Easier, no. Here we have a chance to win an important trophy also because we no longer have the goal of the Scudetto. I don’t think it is easier, but we are stimulated by the idea of bringing home a trophy.”
Do you expect a different Freiburg? Have you studied the penalties?
“Definitely a little different because Freiburg has to score goals to get through the round. In the first match they remained very compact at the back, we will try to limit them.”
Does the Europa League excite you like the Champions League?
“It is a different emotion, even for Juventus.”
How do you feel about seeing the Italian teams progress on in the Champions League?
“I’m happy, it’s good for Italian football. We won in the first leg, Roma also, it’s a good signal for our football. Next year we want to play on Tuesday or Wednesday, this is an opportunity to go to Champions League. But I think even with the -15 we can get there through the league, there are chances to play it.”
Do you have more regrets or pressure in Europe?
“It’s the satisfaction of seeing the Italians in Europe. Given our performances in the CL, we didn’t deserve it and it’s right to be here in the Europa League. We will give everything to win this competition.”
What will you tell the boys for this match?
“What I have to tell the boys I will tell them tomorrow. Knowing the difficulties of the match that will be different from the first leg.”
How are Chiesa and Di Maria?
“We are unlikely to have them back from the first minute. They will be able to be feature in the match at some point.”
What about Vlahovic?
“He is not nervous at all, he was sorry for not scoring. Physically he is calm and I am convinced he will return to scoring as soon as possible.”
Is Italian football better than people say?
“Balance is needed, in Italy we go from saying a player is potential Ballon d’Or winner to saying a week later that he is poor. In Italy there are extra-football difficulties, the ratio with the Premier League is one to five, we are weaker economically. Then we manage to get important results, it means there are good people, from coaches to managers. I think I see Napoli going through, tomorrow us, Roma and maybe even Lazio wil progress. Football is not mathematics, sometimes favourable draws come together, others it all goes against us. The problems are others that you don’t want to solve. Then I wanted to say Fiorentina I forgot, otherwise I can’t eat steak in Florence anymore….”
Will it be possible to see the Kean-Vlahovic cup tomorrow?
“Vlahovic and Kean is a possibility. Tomorrow I want to assess the condition of Chiesa and Di Maria as best I can to decide the lineup.”
Can De Sciglio be a possibility?
“He can play either from the start or during the game.”
A few weeks ago you said that making the Champions League next season with 15 point penalty would be worth the same as winning the championship. Does the same apply to winning the Europa League?
“Let’s take it one step at a time. We get to the quarters, then we close on Sunday night with Juventus-Inter, which is the derby of Italy. Then we will have to rest, from April 2 until early June there are many competitions. Going ahead in the Europa League serves to fill the calendar.”
What mistake should Juve avoid?
“We have to play a game where we have to score goals, because defending 0-0 is difficult, they are good on indirect balls, we will need great order and a hundred minutes of concentration and if we go behind there is always time to recover. Di Maria missed several training sessions but the test today went well, it doesn’t mean he can have a lot of minutes in his legs, however, there is a risk that he will miss 40 days since it already happened in September. Tomorrow is an important game but we have many others ahead of us.”