We know that Jose Mourinho is good for one or two quotes. Some of his lines will remain in the football folklore for years. One of his most recent offers was a big compliment to Juventus' center-back Giorgio Chiellini and Leonardo Bonucci when he said they could teach defense at one of the best US universities.
The irony is that Juve's rearguard has been a bit slack in recent weeks and coach Massimiliano Allegri faces a challenge that comes with sporting success. He has to cope with the inevitable fact that certain play equipment is more attractive than others.
That's the case, regardless of whether you're a tennis player, darts ace or Serie A champion. Top performers are humans, and although they would not admit that, it's natural that some opponents attract more attention than others.
Giorgio Chiellini (left) and Leonardo Bonucci shone in Old Trafford for Juventus last month
The Italian duo offered a defensive championship as Juve beat Manchester United 1-0
When the Italian team defeated Manchester United at Old Trafford on 23 October, their performance was much more dominant than the 1-0 result. They were smooth, snappy and too much for the Red Devils. Under construction, the Italian press was concerned about the threat posed by Romelu Lukaku. You do not have to worry.
Bonucci and Chiellini kept the Belgians very calm with their expertise and competitive advantage. Inspired Mourinho's quiz on the duo tutorials at Harvard. But in the Serie A, the guys in the butt have temporarily put them at risk of imprisonment.
There are mitigating reasons. Bonucci took some time to get back into Juves life after rejoining AC Milan and was a bit rusty at the beginning of the campaign. Chiellini has missed a few injury-related games, and the backline is far less secure without the Tuscan hero.
Since October 6 in Udinese, the champions have not made a single goal in their country. However, they are unbeaten in all competitions. However, they have come close to some undesirable results. Cuadrado's 3-1 goal against Cagliari at the weekend came from a break after the Sardians were almost equalized. At home they conceded 1: 1 against Genoa.
United boss Jose Mourinho said the defense could teach defense at one of the best US universities
However, Juventus manager Massimiliano Allegri sometimes shies away from the complacency of his team
Allegri did not blow them up in the air and knows that starting his team until 2018-19 was fantastic and that the players are not robots. His job is to make sure that these "snoozes" do not affect really important games or crucial times in games.
Juventus has not been the most expansive or entertaining side in recent years, but this season it's more adventurous and open. This is great for neutrality, but has reduced the robustness of the Bianconeri. Joao Cancelo has left behind exciting attacks that have given them a new dimension that makes an already good side even better.
Cancelo is in doubt about Wednesday's injury while Chiellini is likely to recover from a thigh problem. However, it remains the view that Juve, for so many years the bastions of defensive solidity, is vulnerable to crosses or high passes into the pits. They have conceded four league goals in the league and Allegri knows they need to improve to stop the ball coming into the area.
That could be something that Mourinho can take advantage of. Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford, or whoever starts at the flanks, and the full backs, can serve Sanchez or Lukaku in the middle well. As Mourinho noted, Juve's center-backs are masters at tackling and eliminating vertical threats. But beaten or well placed crosses are not her cup of tea.
Joao Cancelo (right) was a brilliant addition, but the team was more open this semester
The Italian team has fitness problems elsewhere. World Champion Blaise Matuidi is fighting a hip problem. His energy and his uncanny ability to attack if no one is expecting to pay dividends this season. Speedy winger Douglas Costa and hard-working Italian international Federico Bernardeschi are unlikely due to a hamstring or ankle injury.
The United were humble by the way Juve Old Trafford ruled in October and will definitely improve in northern Italy. Allegri is proud to say that his team is at the top of Group H with high points and zero goals.
But the Lackadean episodes in Serie A will be in his mind. His fear is that they turn up in the Champions League. It seems unlikely, especially if captain Chiellini is fit on Wednesday. But judging from the one-sided meeting in Manchester, a decline in Juve standards could be the only hope of Mourinho and Co.
Alexis Sanchez was able to benefit from Juventus' more expansive approach on Wednesday night