Juventus will look to take advantage of Manchester City’s “weak points” when they host the Premier League giants on Wednesday looking to seal their place in the last 16 of the Champions League.
City travel to Turin looking for revenge following their 2-1 defeat to Juve at the Etihad in September, as well as redemption from fans after being humbled 4-1 at home by Liverpool at the weekend.
Massimiliano Allegri watched Liverpool take an injury-hit City side apart and although the Juve coach hailed the pedigree of Manuel Pellegrini’s side, he says there will be no charity on offer in Turin.
City, who are already qualified, would secure top spot in Group D with a win. A Juventus victory, meanwhile, would book their place in the knockout phase and send them two points clear of City at the top.
“I saw the game, Liverpool played really well, they pressed City hard and created a lot of chances,” Allegri told reporters in Turin on Tuesday.
“Now, it’s up to us to try and capitalise on their weak points to get the result we need.”
Prior to their defeat to Liverpool, City enjoyed a nine-game unbeaten run which included seven wins. But a rash of injuries to key players has left the Citizens sorely exposed.
City captain Vincent Kompany, as well as forwards Wilfried Bony, David Silva and Samir Nasri are still unavailable through injury.
But Juventus midfielder Claudio Marchisio says the Bianconeri are paying little attention to those absences.
“It won’t change anything for us,” said Marchisio.
“Even though they don’t have much history in Europe, City have quality throughout their squad.
“I’m expecting a really difficult game, irrespective of who plays. We know how much they they want to finish top of the group so I’m sure both sides will fight to the very finish tomorrow.”
While Pellegrini looks at his options ahead of Wednesday’s clash, Allegri will be doing the same as he counts the players on the treatment table.
Juventus will be without several midfield players, notably Sami Khedira, after a scar from a recent thigh injury flared up while he was on international duty with Germany.
Brazilian playmaker Hernanes was suspended for the game, following his sending-off at Borussia Monchengladbach, before suffering a thigh injury on Saturday that has sidelined him for three weeks.
Also missing are Roberto Pereyra, Kwadwo Asamoah and Simone Padoin, while Uruguayan midfielder Martin Caceres will have a late fitness test on a right thigh problem.
Allegri did indicate that France left-back Patrice Evra, who suffered an ankle knock in Saturday’s 1-0 win over AC Milan, “has recovered”. Although he won’t name his squad until Wednesday, Evra is expected to play.
After steering Juventus to the final of last season’s competition, and a subsequent 3-1 defeat by Barcelona, Allegri is expected to take the Old Lady into the latter stages of the competition again this year.
But with his squad only just beginning to hit their stride following a disastrous start to their Serie A campaign, he says they are taking it one step at a time.
“Our number one objective is to qualify for the last 16 of the competition. If we win tomorrow, then we can start thinking about trying to finish top of the group,” added Allegri.
“Manchester are one of the strongest squads in Europe and we’re expecting a very difficult game.”