Valencia vs Juventus - Allegri will include Douglas Costa in UCL plans

Posted Wednesday, September 19, 2018 by PA

Valencia vs Juventus - Allegri will include Douglas Costa in UCL plans

Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri has confirmed Douglas Costa will be included in his plans for Wednesday night’s Champions League clash in Valencia.

Costa has been banned for four matches by the Italian Football Federation after his red card for spitting in Sassuolo forward Federico Di Francesco’s face during Sunday’s Serie A clash.

The Brazilian winger was expected to miss Juve’s opening Group H match after being roundly condemned for his actions.

He also tried to headbutt Di Francesco and hit him with his elbow, but Allegri has included him in his squad despite expressing his disappointment in the player.

“I must say that on Sunday there was an unpleasant incident which surprised everyone, not least because that’s not who he is,” Allegri told a press conference.

“He’s apologised, he’ll pay with a four-match ban and he’ll show with fair play on the pitch that this was an isolated incident. That’s always been a strong point of his, in addition to his qualities.

“(On Wednesday) I’ll decide whether to play him or put him on the bench, but it’ll be a purely technical choice.

“I’m disappointed because it wasn’t a good example for those who saw it, but he was the first to be disappointed at the end of the match.”

Allegri added: “It damaged us as a squad, it shocked us because he did something which was totally out of his character for him. Just look at his career, he wouldn’t hurt a fly.

“He surprised everyone, even himself. I’m very disappointed.”

Juve’s Champions League campaign last season ended in quarter-final heartbreak.

They fought back from a 3-0 first-leg deficit against Real Madrid to level the tie in the return at the Bernabeu Stadium, only for Cristiano Ronaldo to convert a penalty deep in stoppage time for the Spaniards.

Ronaldo will now line up for Juve against Spanish opposition following his £99.2million summer transfer and will aim to finish as the competition’s top scorer for the seventh successive season.

“We have often faced Cristiano, we must not be afraid,” Valencia coach Marcelino told a press conference.

“And his presence will not change our attitude, we will think about a collective performance and if we can limit it we will obviously be closer to victory.

“We are more concerned with the overall potential of Juventus.”

Ronaldo, who scored his first Serie A goals with a double against Sassuolo, is the Champions League’s record goalscorer with 120 and is attempting to equal Paco Gento’s record of six trophy wins.

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