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Juve hold advantage in opening Barcelona trip, claims Allegri

SoccerNews in La Liga 25 Aug 2017

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Juventus boss Massimiliano Allegri is targeting three points at Group D rivals Barcelona as the perfect Champions League launching pad.

Last season’s beaten finalists have been drawn away to Barca on the opening matchday before back-to-back home fixtures against Olympiacos and Sporting CP.

Juve won all but one of their away matches in reaching the 2016-17 decider, their only blemish a dogged 0-0 draw at Camp Nou in the second leg of the quarter-finals.

And while Allegri pinpointed the trips to Sporting and Olympiacos as “key” to reaching the last 16, the Italian wants to make an early statement against the group’s other heavyweights.

“The match against Barcelona will be a fascinating affair,” Allegri said.

“Playing away first can actually be an advantage, as to win there would put us in a very strong position to qualify for the knockout stages.

“The away trips to Athens and Lisbon will be decisive too, as we will be taking on teams with good pedigree who have taken part in the Champions League a number of times.”

The Bianconeri have two Serie A clashes to contend with before their European engagements, beginning with Saturday’s match at Genoa.

Allegri confirmed midfielder Kwadwo Asamoah is unavailable for the encounter, the Ghanaian believed to be mulling over a potential move to Galatasary.

“Asamoah is not available for Genoa. He is currently evaluating his future with the club,” the 50-year-old said.

Italy international Claudio Marchisio is also out of contention after sustaining an injury setback on the same knee he had surgery on last year.

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