Monday, 20 October 2008

Juve and Roma seek Euro boost

Juventus and Roma are seeking morale-boosting wins against Real Madrid and Chelsea in the UEFA Champions League this week after Serie A losses increased the pressure on their coaches.

Juventus lost at Napoli on Saturday to drop to 12th in Serie A, seven points behind leaders Inter, who beat Roma 4-0 at the Stadio Olimpico on Sunday to leave the Romans 14th, nine points off the lead.

Juve executives reiterated support for coach Claudio Ranieri amid media reports that the club, who finished third last season but have failed to win in their last five games, have contacted potential replacements.

"Ranieri has the club's confidence and we don't want to say it again," said CEO Jean-Claude Blanc.

Roma President Rosella Sensi did not come out in support of Spalletti, whose team, a close runner-up to Inter last year, have lost four of their seven matches this term.

Juventus host the Spanish champions Real Madrid in Turin on Tuesday while Roma travel to current English leaders Chelsea in London on Wednesday. Both clubs also face stern domestic tests at the weekend with Juve in the Turin derby with Torino on Saturday and Roma at second-placed Udinese on Sunday.

Five other Serie A clubs are also in European action this week, two in the Champions League and three in the UEFA Cup.

In the Champions League, Fiorentina travel to Bayern Munich on Tuesday night while Inter entertain Anorthosis Famagosta on Wednesday.

In the UEFA Cup, AC Milan, Udinese and Sampdoria have their first group matches in the group stage on Thursday.

Milan visits Heerenveen, Sampdoria travel to Partizan Belgrade and Udinese welcome Tottenham.

UEFA Champions League Matchday 3
Tuesday 21 October
Group F - Bayern Munich v Fiorentina (1945)
Group H - Juventus v Real Madrid (1945)
Wednesday 22 October
Group A - Chelsea v Roma (1945)
Group B - Inter v Anorthosis Famagusta (1945)

UEFA Cup Matchday 1
Thursday 23 October
Group D - Udinese v Tottenham (1810)
Group E - Heerenveen v Milan (1945)
Group C - Partizan Belgrade v Sampdoria (2000)

Source: ANSA

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