Juventus midfielder Claudio Marchisio has described Tuesday’s home Champions League clash against Atletico Madrid as the “game of the year” for his side.
After a shaky start in which they lost two of their opening three Group A matches, the Bianconeri go into the match knowing a draw will guarantee their place in the last 16, while a victory by two or more goals will hand them top place in the group.
Los Colchoneros are one of the best teams in Europe though, winning last season’s La Liga title while also reaching the final of the Champions League and are currently 21.00 to win the competition this term.
Despite drawing against Fiorentina on Friday, Juve are otherwise in rude health, winning their six games before the Viola stalemate but are still to truly convince in European competition after failing to make the knockout stage of last season’s Champions League.
Although they lost the reverse fixture 1-0 in September, Max Allegri’s men are the favourites to get all three points on Tuesday at 2.14, with the draw 3.16 and Atletico 3.49.
Marchisio knows how tough a game it is going to be and believes the result could well define his team’s season.
“We want to progress to the next round, regardless of whether we come first or second,” he told a press conference. “We want to be among the greatest of Europe so this is our target, regardless of the past.
“We worked hard and we worked well in these last few months to reach this point in the season. Now there’s the most important game of the year no matter how you look at it and we can’t get anything wrong.”