TURIN, Italy, Apr 3 – Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri is expecting Argentine ace Paulo Dybala to fire against Real Madrid in Tuesday’s Champions League quarter-final first leg.
“Dybala will play a great game, he has grown a lot both on the physical and psychological level and is coming into his own scoring a nice goal against AC Milan,” said Allegri.
The 24-year-old Argentine scored 10 goals in the opening six Serie A games, but only four in the league between the end of September and early March, with a dip in form followed by a hamstring injury.
But he ended his long wait for a European goal with the winner in the 2-1 second-leg victory over Tottenham at Wembley, with his tally of 22 goals in all competitions including a stunning opener in Saturday’s 3-1 win over AC Milan.
Allegri believes learning from their devastating 4-1 final defeat to Real Madrid in Cardiff last year will be the key to victory over two legs in the next week.
“From a psychological point of view we really need to stay in the match. In Cardiff after 2-1 we weren’t in the match, we gave up a bit,” said Allegri, who believes Juventus have “improved and can scare” Real.
And he said he did not envy Real’s extensive European trophy cabinet with 12 titles to Juventus’s two, won in 1985 and 1996.
“Jealousy and envy are not part of my character. Real Madrid are an extraordinary team but Juventus will be up to expectations and will fight tomorrow night.”
Allegri faces two major absentees with Miralem Pjanic and Medhi Benatia both suspended for the first leg.
“Either (Claudio) Marchisio or (Rodrigo) Bentancur, one of the two will play tomorrow,” he said.
“Then I will have to decide between (Daniele) Rugani and (Andrea) Barzagli, and who will play up front.
“Both (Mario) Mandzukic and Alex Sandro are in very good shape, I’ll see tomorrow whether or not they play, as well as (Juan) Cuadrado who has come back.
“We have basically the whole squad available apart from the two suspended players.”