Wojciech Szczesny: Juventus 'Can't Wait' to Beat Atletico, Believe in ComebackMarch 9, 2019
Juventus goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny has said the Bianconeri "can't wait to play and win" against Atletico Madrid in the UEFA Champions League.
The Italian champions will have to overcome a two-goal deficit from the first leg on Tuesday, when they play host to Atletico in Turin.
While their chances of advancing don't look great, the former Arsenal man told Sky Italia (h/t Football Italia) he is confident:
"We are in good shape and can't wait to play and win this great Champions League match.
"We made a lot of mistakes in Madrid. It's important to both attack and defend better, which might seem easy, but it really isn't as simple as it looks.
"We believe in ourselves, because we are in good condition physically. I think that last week's Champions League results also showed us that it's never over. Ajax lost at home and knocked out Real Madrid, so did Manchester United with Paris Saint-Germain, so why shouldn't we believe we can do it?"
He was also asked which player he believes will be the most likely to change the outcome, and answered: "If I have to bet, I'll bet on Cristiano Ronaldo. He is a player who can be decisive in these moments, plus with all his experience and the goals he has scored in the Champions League, we'll need him on Tuesday."
The Bianconeri have started a video campaign around a possible comeback, releasing this trailer for Tuesday's match:
Centre-backs Diego Godin and Jose Maria Gimenez scored second-half goals in the first leg to give Atletico a deserved two-goal cushion, taking advantage of defensive miscues by Juventus.
The Italian giants have struggled for creativity for months, coasting in Serie A against the lesser teams. When they were finally confronted by an elite side in Atletico, their deficiencies were made painfully obvious.
The press has asked many questions of both the team and manager Massimiliano Allegri following the loss, and the latter's responses have become more agitated:
Allegri and his troops will take hope from Friday's impressive showing against Udinese, however, as the team's backups cruised to a 4-1 win. Moise Kean and Leonardo Spinazzola impressed with their attacking outputs and could play a major role against the Rojiblancos as well.
Kean's scoring instincts could prove vital with Juventus needing two goals, while Spinazzola has provided plenty of creativity moving forward, albeit in just six appearances. His introduction would also free up left-back Alex Sandro to play further up the pitch.