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Juventus close to full-strength

Juventus close to full-strength



LONDON:

Juventus coach Massimilano Allegri will have a full-strength squad to choose from with the exception of defender Gleison Bremer for the first leg of their Europa League semi-final against Sevilla in Turin on Thursday.

The 26-year-old Brazilian international has been on the bench for three of Juve’s last four Serie A matches. “Bremer won’t play tomorrow due to a strain. The rest of the players are fine,” Allegri told a press conference on Wednesday.

Reflecting on Sevilla’s formidable record in this competition which they have won a record six times, Allegri said his tem needed to produce a stellar performance.

“The whole squad will be important tomorrow, especially those coming off the bench,” he said. “We need to show the same approach as in our last couple of matches by respecting our opponents and exploiting their weaknesses.”

Allegri believes his team are maturing. “Juve have played in two European finals in recent years and we want to reach this one too. The three most important weeks of all lie ahead of us now,” he added.

“We need to do what we’ve always talked about: give everything on the pitch and see where that takes us.”

Winger Angel Di Maria has a chance to win one of the few major trophies to have eluded him. “It’s a trophy that I only played once with Benfica. It’s a trophy I’m missing and I’m focused on it but for me, all trophies are important,” the Argentine said.

The 35-year-old Di Maria brushed aside speculation about his future. “I’m happy here and so is my family. We’re in talks with the club but right now I’m only focused on Sevilla,” he said.

Sevilla coach Jose Luis Mendilibar said his team were well-equipped to handle a high-intensity match against Juventus.

“The key will be a sense of calm in every moment, knowing how to deal with every minute of the match. We must not lose our calm or concentration,” he added.

“We know that we can beat any team on our day, including Juventus.” The second leg will be played on May 18.





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