Giacomo Bonaventura’s Juventus team to take on AS Roma in a Europa League final
Juventus have confirmed that they will face Roma in the Europa League semi-final on Sunday, with a return to the Champions League at stake.
The Italian champions, who will host Real Madrid on Wednesday, will host the Giallorossi in the first leg.
The first leg, which will take place at 5pm (AEDT) on Saturday, will be played in the city of Turin.
“We’ll be looking forward to this one,” said coach Bonaventure.
“We’re a team who have come up through the last few years, and it’s a real honour to have them come here.
We’re going to have to do a lot of work for the final, and we’ll be ready.”
Giallorato are currently sitting third in Serie A, three points clear of leaders Juventus, who face Udinese in the final on Monday.
Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri will be hoping for a repeat of his team’s Champions League semi final defeat to Real Madrid last season, when the home side went out in the round of 16 on penalties.
With just two games remaining, the GiALLORAS is also hoping to end their season on a high with a win in the second leg.
“I’m extremely confident, especially since we’ve won four games and we’ve reached the final,” Allegri said.
“It’s a special day, a special opportunity to play in the Champions’ League.
We’ve shown the quality that we’ve been able to show.
We need to show it in the game.
We know what’s at stake and that’s how we’ll perform.”
Juve have won four Serie A games in a row, with Allegri saying “this is a great feeling” to have achieved the feat.
Real Madrid will be looking to avenge a 2-0 defeat in the last-16 of the Champions league last season.
It will be the first time in a Champions League group stage for Real Madrid since 1998, when they beat Juventus 3-1 on aggregate in the group stages.
Roma, meanwhile, will look to a third straight Europa League win in front of their fans.
Coach Raul Albiol is confident the team can put a stamp on the competition.
“[Roma] is the team who’s been here for a long time, and they’re a group that is very well organised and very disciplined,” he said.
Despite the pressure, Allegri and his players believe the game will be a “great” one.
“(The Giallorian) players have got great respect for each other.
I don’t know if they’re in it to win it, but they want to win and win in their own way,” Allegria said.