Thursday, December 14, 2017

Mandzukic not fit to start against Gladbach – Allegri

SoccerNews in UEFA Champions League 20 Oct 2015

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Mario Mandzukic is not yet ready to return to the Juventus starting line-up against Borussia Monchengladbach, Massimiliano Allegri has confirmed.

The Croatian picked up a thigh injury last month and was unable to feature for his country during the international break.

Although he played 20 minutes as a substitute in the 0-0 draw with Inter on Sunday, the Juve coach has revealed the former Atletico Madrid man needs more time to fully recover.

“Mandzukic is in good shape but doesn’t yet have 90 minutes in him,” Allegri said on Tuesday.

However, the 48-year-old is more than satisfied with his options in attack.

“Alvaro Morata has improved a lot, Simone Zaza is in good condition and Paulo Dybala is being left to grow peacefully,” he added.

“Those four up front have a lot of potential in terms of goals, in the future.”

Allegri confirmed his defensive line-up for Wednesday’s meeting with Gladbach, which he hopes can put them on the brink of qualification.

“Andrea Barzagli, Leonardo Bonucci and Giorgio Chiellini will all play tomorrow, as will Gianluigi Buffon,” the coach added.

“The physical condition of the team is improving. Tomorrow’s match is decisive if we win.

“We need to tackle tomorrow’s match as if it’s a one-off game, trying to avoid complications.

“Tomorrow we’ve got an excellent chance to take a big leap towards the knockout stages

“Every Champions League game is tough and Borussia Monchengladbach are still in the hunt for the knockout stages. We mustn’t underestimate them.”

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