Soccer-Allegri hoping Juventus get luck of the draw in last-16


FILE PHOTO: Soccer Football - Serie A - Lazio v Juventus - Stadio Olimpico, Rome, Italy - November 20, 2021 Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri reacts REUTERS/Alberto Lingria/File Photo

TURIN (Reuters) - Several Juventus fringe players will start in their final Champions League match against Malmo FF, coach Massimiliano Allegri said on Tuesday, while hoping for some luck in the last-16 draw.

Juve are already guaranteed a place in the knockout stages and are second in Group H, level with first-placed Chelsea on 12 points.

They will need to better the English side's result against Zenit St Petersburg to finish on top.

But with fixtures coming thick and fast, Allegri revealed that goalkeeper Mattia Perin, defenders Daniele Rugani and Alex Sandro and midfielder Adrien Rabiot will start on Wednesday.

"Some players will be rested, others will play. But we have to win and finish the group in the best way," Allegri told a news conference.

Juventus suffered a humbling 4-0 defeat at Chelsea in their last Champions League outing two weeks ago, but won their other four matches, including a 3-0 victory over Malmo in Sweden in September.

The last-16 draw takes place on Dec. 13, with the two-legged ties scheduled for February and March 2022.

"We have to create the conditions to do better. In March it is another season altogether. We will need players to be in good shape and available," Allegri said.

"Now we finish the group stage, then we will focus on the league and in March we will think about the Champions League.

"We don't know the final positions yet. You want a bit of luck when they draw the names. You can finish first (in the group) and get Paris St Germain. The important thing is to go through, then we will see who we get in the last-16."

Allegri said Liverpool, Bayern Munich, Manchester City, Real Madrid and PSG are favourites for the title.

"They are on another level from the others," he added.

(Reporting by Alasdair Mackenzie; Editing by Rohith Nair)

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