Tuesday, 26 August 2008

[CL] Group stage beckons for Juve

Following Juventus's 4-0 win against Artmedia Bratislava in the first leg of the UEFA Champions League third qualifying round, Juventus coach Claudio Ranieri is determined to finish the job tonight and take the Bianconeri back to the group stage for the first time since 2005.

"We are close to bringing an end to the work we started last season, but we know we will have to play with the same determination that we did in the first leg in Turin," the former Valencia and Chelsea coach said.

"We will face a team who are eager to play a great game in front of their fans so it will not be easy for us."

Ranieri, who guided Juve to third place in Serie A last season, will be without one of the scorers from the first leg as defender Giorgio Chiellini has suffered a serious knee injury which will keep him out of action until October.

Veteran midfielder Pavel Nedved, however, returns from suspension and youngsters Paolo De Ceglie, Claudio Marchisio and Sebastian Giovinco are all available after representing Italy at the Olympic Games in Beijing.

"Obviously we're in a very good position to qualify, but we can't forget that this side defeated Celtic 5-0 three years ago," Ranieri added.

Juventus captain Alessandro Del Piero, who scored a terrific goal in the first leg, shared Ranieri's caution. "We are satisfied with the way we played in Turin but we shouldn't think too much about that result," the 33-year-old forward said.

"Four goals should be enough but only if we will play with the same spirit and determination as in the game in Turin."

UEFA Champions League
Third Qualifying Round, Second Leg
Tuesday 26 August
Artmedia Bratislava v Juventus (Agg: 0-4, 1945)
Panathinaikos v Sparta Prague (Agg: 2-1, 1945)
Wisla Krakow v Barcelona (Agg: 0-4, 1945)
Wednesday 27 August
Arsenal v Twente (Agg: 2-0, 2005)
Atletico Madrid v Schalke (Agg: 0-1, 1945)
BATE Borisov v Levski Sofia (Agg: 1-0, 1700)
Basle v Guimaraes (Agg: 0-0, 1915)
Dinamo Zagreb v Shakhtar Donetsk (Agg: 0-2, 1945)
Dynamo Kiev v Spartak Moscow (Agg: 4-1, 1845)
Kaunas v AaB Aalborg (Agg: 0-2, 1800)
Fenerbahce v Partizan Belgrade (Agg: 2-2, 1900)
Liverpool v Standard Liege (Agg: 0-0, 2005)
Marseille v Brann (Agg: 1-0, 1945)
Olympiakos v Anorthosis Famagusta (Agg: 0-3, 1945)
Slavia Prague v Fiorentina (Agg: 0-2, 1945)
Steaua Bucharest v Galatasaray (Agg: 2-2, 1845)

Source: UEFA

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