Jose tell Juve to watch out for Ajax

15 Apr 2019 / 17:04 H.

JUVENTUS are favourites to knock out Ajax in their Champions League quarterfinal second leg tomorrow (3am Malaysian time) but they should not take them lightly.

That is the view of former Manchester United and Real Madrid boss Jose Mourinho (pix), who says that the Dutch giants are playing with no pressure.

The two teams meet in Turin for the return leg after drawing 1-1 in Amsterdam last Wednesday. A Cristiano Ronaldo goal on the stroke of halftime put the Italian champions in charge of the tie but Ajax came roaring back.

A brilliant David Neres strike just moments into the second-half had Juventus worried and it was Ajax who looked the most likely to bag a winner.

And while the Old Lady of Turin will be confident of getting the job done back on their own patch, Mourinho has had a word of warning for Massimiliano Allegri’s team.

The Portuguese says there is no pressure on Ajax and insists that they could even go all the way in the competition.

“I think Ajax are the team where there is no pressure in this competition,” Mourinho told RT.

“Bayern were there to win it, Paris Saint-Germain were there to win it, all the English teams are there to win it.

Barcelona, Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid were there to win. But Ajax nobody says that they are there to win it, but they can.

“In this moment they are a better team than they were two years ago. They have two or three players with more experience.

“Of course going to Juventus is a difficult challenge for them but it is possible.”

This season is seen by many as Ajax’s best chance of winning the Champions League and rolling back the years.

The club won three consecutive European Cup’s in 1971, 1972, and 1973 while their ‘Golden Generation’ of stars also won it in 1995, ironically beating Juventus in the final.

Juventus have put their bid to wrap up an eighth consecutive Serie A title on the back burner as they focus on their European ambitions.

Allegri lined out with a young squad against lowly SPAL on Saturday and the champions fell to a 2-1 defeat when a point would have sufficed for another Scudetto.

“The Scudetto will come sooner or later,“ said Allegri, whose side hold a 17-point lead on second-placed Napoli with six games left.

“If we had put all our starters in, it would have been easier to win it, but there is the goal to obtain on Tuesday (Wednesday).”

Juventus have won the Champions League twice, most recently in 1996 when they beat Ajax in the final.

Four-time winners Ajax won their third consecutive title in 1973 at the expense of Juventus, last lifting the trophy in 1995.

Allegri said he was prepared for “a difficult match against a very impressive team”. — AFP

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