Juventus must make statement against Olympiakos

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Juventus should take a giant step towards progression to the round of 16 when they travel to Olympiakos on Wednesday night in the Champions League.

The Old Lady have started the competition sluggishly, labouring to a win against Malmo before then being pegged back by Atletico Madrid in a 1-0 defeat to last season's Spanish champions.

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In Greece, the Italians should be aiming for three points, giving Massimiliano Allegri a much needed boost to show that life in Turin continues to thrive after the shock departure of Antonio Conte in the summer.

Allegri’s men have enjoyed an unbeaten start to the league season, with the 3-2 victory over fierce rivals Roma the highlight so far.

They broke the division’s record by becoming the first team to win their first four matches without conceding, and look potent in attack with Carlos Tevez typically brilliant.

Arturo Vidal and Andrea Pirlo have been linked with moves away to Manchester United and LA Galaxy respectively, but times in Turin are so good they may opt to remain and continue to battle it out for silverware.

European quest

On the European front is where points are in most need of earning, and they are strong favourites to leave Olympiakos with all three of them.

Juventus last won club football’s biggest gong in 1996, in the days where Alessandro Del Piero and Fabrizio Ravanelli ruled the roost and Marcelo Lippi was at the helm.

They made the final in 2003 against fellow Italian titans AC Milan, but lost on penalties as both sides drew a blank in a dull match at Old Trafford in Manchester.

Last season's exit

The Old Lady were absent from the tournament in Conte’s first seasonign at the club, but made the quarter-finals the following year in 2013 and were dumped out by eventual champions Bayern Munich.

Last term however they were dismissed from the tournament in the group stages, and then went on to play in the Europa League where they made the semi-finals before being beaten by finalists Benfica.

Conte was often criticised for his failure to land the trophy but the dominance of Bayern, Real Madrid and Barcelona made that task difficult during his tenure.

Touch challenges

Allegri has past experience with Milan but will have a point to prove that he can venture into the new waters his predecessor could not.

The qualities of Europe’s other superpowers provides difficulty, but with the likes of Vidal, Tevez and Paul Pogba in their ranks they too can rub shoulders with the greatest if they eventually meet.

Atletico’s scalp was undeserved and many felt they did not deserve the three points. Juventus must ensure they do not make the same mistake again.

UEFA Champions League
Serie A

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