Massimiliano Allegri calls for intensity from Juventus in order to get past Ajax | Football
The Juventus coach, Massimiliano Allegri, wants his team to show the same intensity they displayed in beating Atlético Madrid in the last 16 when they face Ajax in their Champions League quarter-final on Tuesday.
Juventus overturned a 2-0 deficit from the first leg with a 3-0 second-leg win over Atlético and, although a goalless draw will suffice this time after last week’s 1-1 draw in Amsterdam, Allegri was under no illusions.
“The first leg result counts for nothing,” Allegri said, adding that Juventus needed to improve on their display in Amsterdam. “We need to be more lucid with our passing and we need to be more accurate in building attacks which we did less well in Amsterdam, and we must show great respect for Ajax. We must also show the same intensity we showed against Atlético.”
Allegri confirmed that the forward Mario Mandzukic will miss the match through injury and that the veteran defender Giorgio Chiellini was also ruled out.
Ajax, meanwhile, are hopeful that Frenkie de Jong will be fit to play. The 21-year-old midfielder went off after 22 minutes of the Eredivisie game against Excelsior Rotterdam on Saturday clutching his hamstring but their coach, Eric ten Hag, said it was a precaution.
“We will see, we are positive he can play,” he said. “We took him off for prevention, we hope he can play but we will see if it is possible. We will see after this evening’s training.”
The Ajax coach said he was confident his team could pull off another upset after eliminating the holders, Real Madrid, in the round of 16. “I’m confident because of the way we are playing and training. We are stronger and we are showing it game by game,” he said.