Having endured one scare against BATE Borisov this season, Juventus coach Claudio Ranieri is determined to avoid another in Turin on Wednesday.
Juventus were firm favourites to overcome the Belarussian outfit when they met in Minsk on Matchday 2, only to find themselves two goals down after 23 minutes. Vincenzo Iaquinta scored twice to ensure the Bianconeri returned home with a point.
“We remember the opening stages of the match in Minsk, when they flattened us and went 2-0 up,” said Ranieri. “We can recall those scenes all too clearly.
“We were really under pressure,” he added. “They were all helping each other out, diving into tackles and playing very well, so we must focus on the prospect of coming up against the same BATE Borisov that impressed us so much in the away leg.”
Ranieri has a number of absentees, with Mauro Camoranesi the latest addition to a growing injury list. Pavel Nedved, is ready to play in central midfield as cover for the suspended Mohamed Sissoko should Cristiano Zanetti not pass a fitness test.
With the Belarus League having ended last month, BATE have been training in Italy, warming up for the Juve trip with a 1-0 friendly win against Serie B side Frosinone Calcio
“We’ve had a great time training on fantastic pitches, and seeing the Roman ruins was fantastic,” said coach Viktor Goncharenko. “We’ve bonded even more as a group and it’s been a great way to round off our season. But we want to finish on a high note.
“It’s amazing to be playing against a prestigious team like Juventus. We’re disappointed we didn’t edge the matches that were there for the taking, against Madrid and Zenit, but now we’re just aiming to sign off in style.”