City outclass Gladbach in dominant display

Juve boss Allegri hopes Messi is 'stoppable' in Champions league final


Juventus coach Max Allegri says he and his side have been thinking of a plan to stop Barcelona's star Lionel Messi in Saturday's Champions League final in Berlin.

Messi has been in rich vein of form through recent months, leading his side to the La Liga and Copa del Rey double so far with 58 goals in all competitions, including a superb solo strike in last weekend's Copa del Rey final win over Athletic Bilbao.

Opposition coaches including his former boss Josep Guardiola, now of Bayern Munich, have claimed that when the Argentine hits top form he is basically unstoppable.

However the bianconeri boss told his pre-final media conference at Berlin's Olympiastadion that he has been devising ways to slow Barca's all-South American front three, while acknowledging his team would also have to score.

"I hope that tomorrow [Messi] is stoppable," he said. "We have been thinking about him. Also about [Luis] Suarez and Neymar. We have to play well, and know that this will not end 0-0. We will have to score at least one goal."

Allegri bemoaned the unfortunate injury picked up in training this week that means that first-choice centre-back Giorgio Chiellini will not be available to help try and nullify Barca's attack.

"We have not liked what has happened with Chiellini, because he was a player who took part in all the Champions League games, and was having a magnificent season," he said. "But [Andrea] Barzagli is in good form."

Barca have beaten the champions of England, France and Germany to reach this stage of the competition without ever really looking in trouble, but Allegri said he was sure Luis Enrique's side had some weaknesses which could be exploited.

"Tomorrow everyone will give their best because this is a unique experience, a one-off game," Allegri said. "Barca are a very good team, but they have some weaknesses."

Asked where the key battles would be over the course of the game, Allegri pointed to the central areas.

"The game's thermometer will be in the middle of the pitch," he said.

In addition, Allegri acknowledged Saturday will present a very different Barca from those his Milan sides faced eight times between 2010 and 2014 without winning a game.

"That Barca was very different to this one," he said. "One was the Barca of Xavi [Hernandez] and now it is one with [Ivan] Rakitic. Previously they had no centre-forward, and now they do."

Allegri said that this being potentially the last game for some Juve players, including perhaps veteran playmaker Andrea Pirlo and much sought-after midfielder Paul Pogba, would not be a factor.

"That does not have an affect on the game," he said. "We are talking about a Champions League final. There is no need for motivation, although maybe for a little bit of luck."

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