Juventus cautious ahead of facing Jorge Sampaoli’s Sevilla in Champions League

Juventus' match is against Jorge Sampaoli, who turned Chile into one of the most entertaining teams at the World Cup two years ago.

By: Reuters | Milan | Updated: September 13, 2016 6:01 pm
juventus, juventus champions league, juventus sevilla, sevilla champions league, jorge sampaoli, sampaoli, sampaoli sevilla, sampaoli chile, uefa champions league news, football news, sports news Juventus’s Gonzalo Higuain  celebrates with his teammate Paulo Dybala after scoring during a Serie A soccer match between Juventus and Sassuolo at the Juventus Stadium in Turin.(AP Photo)

Jorge Sampaoli’s unique brand of whirlwind football is set to be unleashed on an unsuspecting Champions League when his Sevilla team face Juventus on Wednesday. Sampaoli turned Chile into one of the most entertaining teams at the World Cup two years ago and the Argentine’s first few games with Sevilla have shown that he is not afraid to bring his unique style to the European club game.

The Europa League champions kicked off their La Liga campaign with a 6-4 win over Espanyol and on Saturday, after failing to turn up for the first half hour, hit back to beat Las Palmas 2-1 with a 94th minute winner. Sampaoli’s teams play with a fast and furious style which often threatens to blow their opponents away but can leave their own defence dangerously exposed at the back.

Whenever they have the ball, they sweep forwards in relentless waves with seven or eight players joining the attack. Spanish media have been scratching their heads trying to work out what formation Sampaoli’s team plays, with one venturing that it was a 2-1-5-2.

Shaven-headed and sometimes with a wild stare, Sampaoli also brings an extra dose of energy to the touchline, where he leaps up and down and rants with his players, a complete contrast to Juve’s phlegmatic coach Massimiliano Allegri. Sevilla’s visit will be an interesting test for the Serie A champions who have won their first three league matches of the season and are finding little resistance domestically.

The teams also met in the group stage last season and, although the Italian side qualified and Sevilla went out, a 1-0 defeat away to the Spaniards meant Juventus finished second and faced Bayern Munich in the round of 16. Juventus coach Allegri is already worried about the amount of praise that his new look team are getting.

“Everyone says that Juventus will win everything, the championship, the Coppa Italia and the Champions League and that doesn’t do us any good, because we lose our balance and sense of perspective,” he said. He is also unhappy with the two goals they have conceded in their first three games.

“We conceded two goals from corners this season already and that is too many,” he said, “There are moments in the game when we are in our own half and must defend well, without letting the opposition get away from us. We all have to work hard and cannot just take it for granted that the three at the back will take care of things.”