Barcelona vs Juventus - Juventus can't expect to win the Champions League



Posted Tuesday, September 12, 2017 by PA

Juventus boss Massimiliano Allegri dismissed any ideas the club should expect to win the Champions League.

The Bianconeri start their Group D campaign at Barcelona's Nou Camp on Tuesday having lost last season's final in Wales.

Real Madrid won 4-1 in Cardiff to condemn Juve to their second showpiece defeat in three seasons, as the Italians also went down to Barca in 2015.

It is Juve's 18th appearance in the Champions League, a new record for an Italian side ahead of AC Milan with 17, but they have not won the competition since 1996.

Yet, having come so close in recent years, Allegri believes they cannot just expect to end their drought.

"The last three years have been fantastic, we reached two Champions League finals," he told UEFA.com.

"The first was rather unexpected, while for the second, we had greater hopes of really winning it.

"We didn't succeed but we still consider it a success because not everyone can play in a Champions League final.

"Winning the Champions League can't be an objective, it's a dream. And to accomplish that dream, you have to work hard for so many years and, above all, develop a certain kind of mental approach.

"Juventus are aiming to be consistently among the top eight in Europe. In order to do that, we need to be signing quality players. I think the club are doing really well in this regard."

Juventus are without the injured Giorgio Chiellini, Sami Khedira, Claudio Marchisio, Benedikt Howedes, Mario Mandzukic and the banned Juan Cuadrado.

Barca are top of LaLiga after three straight wins and the last time they started a season with three consecutive victories in the league came in 2013-14, former boss Luis Enrique's first in charge.

They were beaten by Juve in last season's quarter-finals and Barca head coach Ernesto Valverde anticipates an "intense" encounter.

"We know Juventus are a great team but we'll try win the game," Valverde told a press conference.

"Last year they caused us a lot of problems so we need to be careful. I'm expecting an intense and important game between two top sides and with a precious result at stake.

"It will be a very important game, but that's also true of the league games we've played. We're starting the Champions League with competitive enthusiasm.

"We're going through a good period, we just won the derby (against Espanyol) 5-0 but we also have to get three points."

Barca are only without Rafinha, who is still recovering from the knee injury which forced him to miss the end of last season.



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