Another epic encounter in store in what is arguably the toughest second phase group, when Juventus travel to Spain to face Deportivo La Coruna.
The size of the task facing both teams along with Manchester United and Basle was underlined by Depor’s president Augusto Cesar Lendoiro
“It is going to be very difficult to qualify but Manchester United and Juventus won’t find it easy either as both have experienced defeat against Deportivo,” said Lendoiro.
Juve will be looking to exact a mmodicum of revenge against the Galician side; they face a team they havenot beaten in four previous Champions League matches. The sides met at the same stage last season, with Deportivo earning a 2-0 victory a t hom after a draw in Turin. The year before, meanwhile, Juventus were held home and away by Depor in the first group stage.
Lionel Scaloni’s in for Hector Berenguel at right-back is the only expected change from the side that drew 1-1 with Sevilla at the weekend. Cesar Martin and Enrique Romero will continue in central defence with Nourredine Naybet and Donato Gama missing out although the Brazilian Donato is fit enough to take a place on the substitutes bench.
Influential playmaker Juan Carlos Valeron is back in training following a fractured fibula but he is stillsome weeks short of regaining full fitness.
Juventus coach Marcello Lippi rested several key player for Saturday’s 1-1 draw with Bologna but is expectis expected to deploy a full-strength squad. Marco Di Vaio and Alessandro Del Piero return to the starting line-up after starting the Bologma match on the bench, whole defenders Lilian Thuram and Alessandro Birindelli also return.
Juve midfielder Alessio Tacchinardi believes Italian clubs and in particular Juventus are better equipped for the demands Champions League this season than they have beenn inn recent years.
“Italian clubs are showing more character on their travels at the moment,” he said.
“We know we are capable of getting a result wherever we go.
“Home form will be the key to progress, but we have to show that we can win away because away wins are great for morale,” he continued.
Deportivo: 25-Juanmi; 12-Lionel Scaloni, 5-Cesar, 3-Enrique Romero, 15-Joan Capdevila; 6-Mauro Silva, 16-Sergio, 10-Fran, 18-Victor; 19-Albert Luque, 7-Roy Makaay
Juventus: 1-Gianluigi Buffon; 15-Alessandro Birindelli, 4-Paolo Montero, 13-Mark Iuliano,21-Lilian Thuram; 26-Edgar Davids, 3-Alessio Tacchinardi, 16-Mauro Camoranesi; 11-Pavel Nedved; 18-Marco Di Vaio, 10-Alessandro Del Piero