Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Higuain, Alves to make Juventus debuts against West Ham

SoccerNews in Serie A 6 Aug 2016


Gonzalo Higuain and Dani Alves are set to make their Juventus debuts in Sunday’s friendly against West Ham.

The Serie A champions face the Hammers at the official opening of the London Stadium as they continue their pre-season preparation.

Head coach Massimiliano Allegri has confirmed that Higuain – the club’s €90million signing from last season’s runners-up Napoli – will make an appearance from the substitutes’ bench against Slaven Bilic’s men, who he thinks will offer a tough test.

Allegri revealed former Barcelona defender Alves will also make his first appearance in Juve colours as he named his starting XI for the game.

“You will see Higuain and not just for a few minutes,” Allegri said at his pre-match media conference.

“Our line-up will be [Gianluigi] Buffon, Dani Alves, [Medhi] Benatia, [Daniele] Rugani, Alex Sandro, [Mario] Lemina, [Miralem] Pjanic, [Kwadwo] Asamoah, [Roberto] Pereyra, [Paulo] Dybala and [Mario] Mandzukic.

“Then Higuain will also get game time. We have everyone available but for Stephan Lichtsteiner, who has a bad back.

“West Ham have played the preliminary rounds of the Europa League and they will certainly be in a better condition than us.

“We haven’t been working together very long and some players have done a month of work while others only 10 days. We had some training sessions together, others in separation.

“Juventus carried out a great market, signing five new and excellent players.

“But integrating five new players is never easy. They have different characteristics than the ones we worked with and they don’t know each other. 

“This year we’ll have to do that faster, it can’t take us 10 games like last season. Even though we did win the Supercoppa.”

Despite Paul Pogba’s impending exit, Allegri has been thrilled by the signings Juve have made, although he warned his squad not to take success for granted.

He said: “The team’s quality, technically speaking, is markedly higher. This doesn’t mean that the Scudetto is in our pockets, much less the Champions League final, absolutely not.

“We need to be aware of our strength but above all we need the humility that is necessary to win the championship. 

“We will have to reach March still fighting in all competitions and fighting to win. There will be many combative teams we face that want to challenge us.”



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