Breaking Down Juventus' Champions League Group Stage Opponents

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Breaking Down Juventus' Champions League Group Stage Opponents
Claude Paris/Associated Press

After reaching the quarter-finals in 2012-13, Juventus endured a disappointing Champions League campaign last term, exiting the competition in the group stage. Despite being placed in a comfortable looking pool, the Bianconeri were unable to overcome Galatasaray or FC Copenhagen, leaving their supporters wholly dissatisfied.

As such, Massimiliano Allegri has stressed the importance of ensuring the club improves its performances in Europe since his appointment in mid-July. The new coach understands he will need to do just that in order to win over a largely sceptical fan-base, telling reporters at his inaugural press conference (h/t UEFA.com):

Juventus are still the favourites in Italy, while there are many other big clubs playing in Europe. We have to be one of the best eight in Europe. I will try to get the best out of my players and will adapt to their characteristics.

The one major criticism of Antonio Conte was his adherence to a 3-5-2 formation which struggled in continental competition, and the club has attempted to help Allegri in that regard. Thanks to the arrival of versatile players such as Alvaro Morata, Romulo and Roberto Pereyra, the coach should have greater tactical flexibility than his predecessor.

That should benefit all concerned, and Claudio Marchisio noted the new man’s greater emphasis on attack in an interview with TuttoSport this week. He extolled the impact that the coaching change should have, telling them (h/t Football Italia):

Now it is different, Allegri has a different idea of the game, as we saw against Milan. We work mainly on the possession of the ball. In Europe it works well, we saw it again last year when we faced teams with little to them, they played safe football, whilst we had some difficulties.

This is the most important step to be taken. And will this improved imagination be best felt in Europe? Definitely. We often speak of our failure in Europe, but the first year we went out against Bayern and last time we threw away qualification against Galatasaray.

Today’s draw pitted the Old Lady against Atletico Madrid, Olympiakos and Malmo this term, and over the following pages is a look at how those sides match up against her.

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