Juventus

Teams /  Italy  / Juventus 
Juventus have 2,219 Fans
 
 
 
 
Manchester City can start a journey against Juventus – Roberto Mancini
David Conn - 3 years ago

When Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan of Abu Dhabi bought Manchester City on something of a fancy two years ago, tomorrow evening's match at Eastlands was the sort of occasion he must have pictured: playing legendary names such as Juventus on floodlit European nights. But it is a measure of the ambition and expectation heaped on to City since the takeover and Mansour's £500m investment that Roberto Mancini is playing down the match's significance, because it is in the Europa League, not the Champions League.

City's manager made it clear he will make changes from the side who beat the league leaders Chelsea on Saturday, resting key players from effectively that first-choice team so they can be fresh to play Newcastle United in the Premier League on Sunday, a game he described without hesitation as "very important".

Invited several times to drum up excitement for a tie City fans are relishing as an echo of the club's most successful era – City beat Juventus 1-0 at home in the old Uefa Cup in 1976, before losing 2-1 on aggregate – Mancini eventually conceded: "It is an important trophy. The Champions League is more important but in February the Europa League becomes very important. If you win, you play another important game [the Uefa Super Cup] in Monaco. We want to go through the group by December, then concentrate on the Premier League."

Mancini said he may replace Nigel de Jong, who flourished in a muscular battle against Michael Essien on Saturday, with Patrick Vieira, who today cited the Europa League as merely an opportunity for squad players such as himself to get a game. "This competition is important because we have a big squad and we all want to play," said Vieira, who has featured in only one of City's six Premier League games. "I am happy with my form but it is difficult when you play one game a month."

Mancini resisted the opportunity to glow about the victory over Chelsea, focusing instead on the difficulty for his players in recovering from tonight's match in time to face Newcastle, whom he described as "a strong team". Yet gradually it was teased out of a football man even as determinedly deadpan as Mancini that he is excited by the prospect of playing Juventus, the team he confessed he supported as a boy, relished facing when he was the coach at Internazionale and may even like to manage some day.

"Why not?" he said, smiling. "Football is like that. I have never been an enemy of Juventus. Maybe I criticised some teams in the past but never Juventus. I was a huge fan for years when I was a child so I have great respect for the club and the players."

City supporters recall fondly the previous meeting, against a Juventus side who included the international stars Dino Zoff, Claudio Gentile and Marco Tardelli, as a reminder of glories past. It was the year City won their last trophy, the League Cup, but Mancini believes such history and City's football stature are thin compared to the Italian club's.

"Juventus is a top team, one of the top names in football," he said. "They have an important history which cannot be scrubbed out just because they spent a period in Serie B [due to a match-fixing scandal]. City and Juventus are two new teams trying to build up but City have to build everything. We want a big history for this football club."

Mancini grinned when confirming that Brian Kidd, his assistant, has been reminding everybody that as City's No8, Kidd scored in the home leg against Juventus 34 years ago. "Maybe he can be on the substitutes' bench [tonight]," Mancini joked.

Mancini will field some squad players tonight, keeping his focus on league points and City's stated target of Champions League qualification. But the manager, who admitted to a touch of homesickness – "I'm happy here, but obviously being Italian I miss home," he said – will want his team, building on investment from a billionaire, to match Juventus, Italian football's "grand old lady", recovering from her fall.

Manchester City (4-4-2, probable): Hart; Boyata, Kompany, K Touré, Zabaleta; Milner, Y Touré, Vieira, A Johnson; Tevez, Jô.

Juventus (4-4-2, probable): Manninger; Motta, Bonucci, Chiellini, Grygera; Krasic, Sissoko, Marchisio, Pepe; Iaquinta, Del Piero.

Referee EI González (Sp).

Share your thoughts
Sign in to comment

Latest News, Blogs & Podcasts

Newspapers
 
Blogs
 
Podcasts
 
Forza Italian Football - 11 hours ago
Zarko Pelicic, agent of Fiorentina defender Stefan Savic, has revealed that his client is being pursued by Juventus and is open to begin negotiations with the Turin side. The 23-year-old has been linked with a transfer to the Bianconeri in recent weeks ...
Goal.com - 1 day ago
Southampton fans have endured something of a nightmare summer so far. After seeing Mauricio Pochettino join Tottenham at the end of May, the Saints have seen the core of an eye-catching side torn apart in the transfer window. First, Rickie Lambert - so ...
Forza Italian Football - 20 hours ago
Pogba's agent Mino Raiola has been in constant contact with Juventus general director Giuseppe Marotta and a contract extension now looks the more likely outcome according to Tuttosport. An contract offer of €3.2 million per season with bonuses that ...
The Guardian - 1 week ago
The Juventus Stadium is quite simply the future of Italian football stadia. It is the first ultra-modern stadium in Serie A and Juventus own the entire structure. This is a first in Italy, where grounds are normally owned by local authorities. The name ...
Football Italia - 5 days ago
Juventus lost their first game under Max Allegri, falling 3-2 to amateur side Lucento despite a Fernando Llorente brace. New Coach Allegri changed their system to his favoured 4-3-2-1 with Carlos Tevez and Sebastian Giovinco supporting the Spanish ...
Channel News Asia - 1 day ago
SINGAPORE: The Aug 16 curtain-raiser football game between Juventus Football Club and a Singapore selection team at the Sports Hub's new National Stadium will kick off at 6pm, instead of the original 7.30pm. This is due to "operational reasons", ...
Football Italia - 1 day ago
Juventus have already named their starting XI against Cesena tomorrow, including Andrea Pirlo and Stephan Lichtsteiner. The Bianconeri will play the newly-promoted side at the Stadio Dino Manuzzi on Wednesday evening. Coach Massimiliano Allegri has ...
Football Italia - 16 hours ago
It is only normal that a Coach who did as well as Conte is remembered fondly, but in football and life everything can change.” As he then noted, it's hard to read much into what was essentially a training run: “Until I have the whole squad at my ...
The Guardian - 5 days ago
Juventus have signed the Argentinian winger Roberto Pereyra from Udinese in a £1.2m loan deal, the Italian Serie A champions said on Friday. “Juventus Football Club can today announce that Roberto Maximiliano Pereyra has completed a move to the club ...
Goal.com - 21 hours ago
A star-studded Juventus side will be flying down to Singapore for the match, including new signing Patrice Evra. Former Milan coach Massimiliano Allegri was recently appointed as the new head coach, and will be guiding his men from the touchlines.

Latest Photo Galleries

Europa League: Group stage matchday two
3 years ago
All the action from Eastlands where Man City play host to the Old Lady of Turin and also from Holland as Utrecht entertain Liverpool
Football: Fulham and Liverpool in action in the Europa League
4 years ago
We bring you the action from Craven Cottage and Anfield as Fulham attempt to overturn a 3-1 deficit against Juventus and Liverpool also have it all to do after Lille won the first leg 1-0
Football: Juventus v Fulham in the Europa League
4 years ago
The best pictures as Juventus host Fulham in the Europa League
   
Kick4Life - changing lives through football