UEFA Champions League: Manchester United v Juventus FC: Match Preview
Take a read as we sit down with @Hesham786 and @juvefcdotcom to preview tonight's big Champions League game between Manchester United and Juventus.....
So to @juvefcdotcom how did you feel when the draw was made and you knew you’d be facing United?
@juvefcdotcom: Pretty pleased to be honest - I loved the idea of playing a real giant of the English game, mainly because of the great matches we'd had back in the 90's and the mutual respect that both teams had for one another
People kept saying the only reason I wanted to play united was because they weren't at their best but nothing could be further from the truth - Domestic form can go out of the window in games like this - It's just great to see the two biggest teams from their respective leagues go toe-to-toe
Lets hope we get a similar game to the ones we saw in the 90s! Same question to you then Hesham, were you happy to be drawn with Juventus?
@Hesham786: Yeah absolutely. Think it was the dream draw for many of our fans actually. We’ve had too many underwhelming draws in recent years so we’ve really missed out on a big clash with a European giant at home, Juventus were probably the most attractive draw. The sub-plot of Ronaldo’s return being a biggest highlight and the fact we’ve not encountered a modern Juve side made it really exciting.
Of course we know it would be an incredibly difficult game but I think when you’re in the Champions League the home fans always need a big tie to make that campaign memorable.
Certainly have to agree, biggest CL night for United in quite some time! To both of you then, how you do see the game going? And what are the keys to victory for your respective sides? Juventus are fresh from losing their 100% record meanwhile United were denied a win at Chelsea. Are both sides at their respective bests?
@juvefcdotcom: I don't feel Juve are at their absolute best just yet - They played their best football against Napoli, Valencia (when we were a man down) and Udinese. It still feels like things need to come together for us and we need to learn to kill off games. A perfect example is the Genoa game at the weekend when we dominated and only had one goal to show for it. I can see us starting well in Manchester but so much of it depends on who Allegri plays and how he sets up the team - Also depends on Mourinho's set up as he's smart enough to man mark key players and shift his teams formation to nullify us - I'm hoping for a slender win, perhaps 2-1 in this tie
@Hesham786: Think it’s going to be quite a tactical affair because Allegri and Jose are that type of manager. I would say we are probably at our best point in a while given the second half showing v Chelsea but we’ve been incredibly inconsistent throughout the season so our fans do not even know what our best is at the moment. For us, the key is two things. Firstly being clinical in front of goal, we’ve not created many chances this season and been wasteful at most opportunities. We know chances will be limited against an elite side, so one of our front 3 will have to be clinical. Secondly, defensive errors have costed us throughout the season, as fans we just got to pray that they don’t reappear again tomorrow. Hopefully Mourinho doesn’t put out something silly tactically and play a Scott McTominay or Ander Herrera in a back 3 - them kind of experiments have backfired horribly!
Can see Juventus coming out on top though. Think our defence when put under real pressure has buckled this season.
@juvefcdotcom: (I really hope he does play McTominay in defence ! )
Interesting!! Think McTominay won’t be near the side for a while after the last experiment. So finally, to each other what does the game mean to you? And what do you both have to say about your opponent?!
@Hesham786: The game is huge for us because of the history of it and due to what it means in our current situation. We’ve had a terrible League campaign so a respectable Champions League run is just what we need. Seeing Ronaldo at Old Trafford maybe for the last time will be really special and watching us against an elite side will be memorable. A good game here could buy Mourinho a lot of time whilst a heavy defeat can see him on the brink again, so in terms of the club it is massive.
@juvefcdotcom: It means a lot to us because the Champions League has eluded us for so long - We cam close twice in the last 4 years and the heartache of Cardiff has never quite healed. The only way we can justify the expenditure on someone like Ronaldo, coupled with the loss of Gigi and Claudio this summer, would be if we won the CL. This game feels like a real throwback in some regards because games against the big sides always tend to stick in the mind and become interesting contests. I read a lot of the press articles in the UK and they are sometimes all too quick to write off United and downplay their chances. I'm of the opposite opinion - If United are fired up, the formbook means nothing. They can easily use a good performance against Juve as a springboard for the rest of their season. We need to be careful and cautious in some regards but we also need to test them in the areas where they're weaker. I think it'll be a massive game.
@Hesham786: All I have to say is many United fans are envious of many the Juventus side elements. A world class, reliable defence with an incredibly creative, destructive front 3 - it illustrates the current gulf between the two sides but of course football matches are not won on paper.
Great stuff guys! And final words for each other before we end?
@juvefcdotcom: Good luck and all the best Hesh ! May the best team win - I don't see this as an easy game, I just hope it's played in good spirit and we see some great football tomorrow!
@Hesham786: I don’t want any referee controversies, any bust-ups or anything off the pitch. I’m hoping for a really competitive game where football takes centre stage @juvefcdotcom! Good luck to Juventus, I look forward to watching some of the worlds best play at Old Trafford!