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Massimiliano Allegri praises ‘winning DNA’ at Juventus


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  • Juventus hoping to reach Champions League last-16 away to Sporting Lisbon
  • Italian side will advance with a win if Barcelona avoid defeat at Olympiacos
  • Coach Massimiliano Allegri praised the ‘winning DNA’ of the club
  • They have recovered from shaky start to season by winning their last four games 

Massimiliano Allegri has hailed the ‘winning DNA’ of Juventus as they aim to advance to the knockout stages of the Champions League on Tuesday night.

Last season’s runners-up in the competition will make it through so long as they beat Sporting Lisbon and Barcelona avoid defeat at Olympiacos.

A 2-1 home win over the Portuguese side in their last Champions League outing sparked a four-match winning run that has helped Juventus overcome a shaky start to the season.

Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri inspects the pitch ahead of their game at Sporting Lisbon

Juventus players share a joke in training ahead of their latest Champions League fixture 

Juventus players share a joke in training ahead of their latest Champions League fixture 

Juventus will qualify if they win and Barcelona avoid defeat away to Olympiacos

Juventus will qualify if they win and Barcelona avoid defeat away to Olympiacos

Victories over Udinese, SPAL and Milan have lifted the defending champions to within three points of early pace-setters Napoli and restored confidence at the Turin club.

Allegri said: ‘I’m really proud to be part of this team. Juventus have a winning DNA.

‘This game will be very difficult. Sporting are a very good squad and we need to get a positive results.

‘It would be like a gift for us, for our fans and for everyone associated with the club [to qualify for the last-16].

Juventus players Miralem Pjanic (left) and Sami Khedira pictured in training on Monday

Juventus players Miralem Pjanic (left) and Sami Khedira pictured in training on Monday

Juve's Argentine forward Paulo Dybala plays a pass during the team's training on Monday

Juve’s Argentine forward Paulo Dybala plays a pass during the team’s training on Monday

‘We know what a win here will give us, it gives us the possibility of going through on the night. But a draw would also keep us on the right path.’

Barcelona top Group D with three wins from three ahead of their visit to Greece to play rock-bottom Olympiacos and are also hoping to progress on Tuesday night.

Juve captain and goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon added: ‘We are improving a lot as a team, we must manage tomorrow’s game with intelligence and respond appropriately when the going gets tough.

‘Sporting are a very good team, especially at home. After the Barcelona [defeat, when Juventus lost 3-0], every game in this section for us became vital, decisive.’

Gonzalo Higuain (left) celebrates his goal in Juve's 2-0 win at Milan on Saturday evening

Gonzalo Higuain (left) celebrates his goal in Juve’s 2-0 win at Milan on Saturday evening

An animated Allegri issues instructions from the sidelines during their win at the San Siro

An animated Allegri issues instructions from the sidelines during their win at the San Siro

 

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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