Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel says that Juventus must still be shown a great deal of respect, even though Cristiano Ronaldo is no longer at the club.
It has been a difficult return to Juve for their manager Massimiliano Allegri. Juve are currently down in 10th in the Serie A table after six matches which included a shock 1-0 defeat to Empoli at home on August 28.
Juve have failed to hit the ground running following Ronaldo’s departure to Manchester United, with the forward having scored 101 goals in 134 appearances for the Serie A club since his arrival in 2018.
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Nevertheless, Tuchel says Juve have to be taken seriously even though he believes they are “weaker” without Ronaldo.
“They are such a big club,” the German told reporters.
“Yes they have had some troubles, a rough start but they were very convincing in the Champions League. They are reliable. It is a no-brainer, they demand respect.
Time will tell but it is no secret that any team without Cristiano, in some parts of the game, will be weaker.
“They have a deep and big squad, they are a very proud club. It is my first time to play Juventus in this competition and we face a hard competitor.”
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Tuchel felt his players were too passive in their 1-0 defeat to Manchester City at Stamford Bridge on Saturday and must rectify that against Juventus.
He added: “It is a normal thing because you have to adapt to your strengths and weaknesses. We were not happy with our defence against Man City, we were too passive.
“The defensive plan was my responsibility, maybe it led to this passive behaviour. We defended the box over a long period very well.”
Tuchel has ruled out injured trio Mason Mount, Reece James, Christian Pulisic, as well as N’Golo Kante for Wednesday night’s game.
Tuchel confirmed Kante has tested positive for Covid-19 and is now quarantining.
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