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Juventus wary of buoyant Bremen

Published: Sunday 26 February 2006, 1.00CET
After staging a remarkable late drive to clinch a narrow victory against Juventus on Matchday 7, Werder Bremen travel for the return game in good heart.
Published: Sunday 26 February 2006, 1.00CET

Juventus wary of buoyant Bremen

After staging a remarkable late drive to clinch a narrow victory against Juventus on Matchday 7, Werder Bremen travel for the return game in good heart.

After staging a remarkable late revival to clinch a 3-2 victory against Juventus on Matchday 7, Werder Bremen travel for the return knowing they only have to repeat their last result in Italy to claim a UEFA Champions League quarter-final place for the first time.

Important draw
• A 1-1 draw away to Udinese Calcio on Matchday 3 helped the German club qualify from Group C as runners-up to FC Barcelona. A header from Johan Micoud deep into added time two weeks ago means that if Bremen can stay all-square with Juventus in the Stadio Delle Alpi then they can write a new chapter in their club's history.

Juventus blow
• The late goal in the Weserstadion was a heavy blow for Fabio Capello’s team who had gone behind to Christian Schulz’s first-half opener but then struck back with devastating effect as Pavel Nedvěd and David Trezeguet scored twice in the space of nine minutes late on. The match had seemed to have turned in the visitors' favour before Tim Borowski's clever finish three minutes from time paved the way for a stunning finale.

Six wins
• Confidence for the Bianconeri in the return game centres on their recent winning form at home in the UEFA Champions League. Since losing 1-0 at home to RC Deportivo La Coruña in the second leg of the 2003/04 first knockout round, they have played seven games in the competition proper, winning seven and drawing one. Amazingly they have conceded only one goal in that run – to FC Bayern München in this season's Matchday 4.

• They have won all their last three home games against opposition from Germany and in 18 games have only numbered three defeats in total.

Strong challenge
• Juventus, twice winners of the European Champion Clubs' Cup and aiming for a third quarter-final appearance in four seasons, always had the look of qualifiers from their group and successive wins in their first two fixtures did nothing to alter that view.

• Trezeguet was on the scoresheet in three of the first four games and his goal two weeks ago has raised his tally for this campaign to five.

Bad memory banished
• Even if Bremen bow out they will have at least banished the bitter memory of last season's first knockout round when they suffered a 10-2 aggregate defeat by Olympique Lyonnais.

• A 7-2 defeat in France was a humiliating experience while in this campaign their three away fixtures in Group C resulted in two defeats and one draw. Nevertheless Thomas Schaaf's team qualified with seven points, the same number as Udinese Calcio who they edged out thanks to a superior head-to-head record.

Final flourish
• After losing their first two games in the section it was not thought that Bremen would be serious contenders but the point they picked up in Italy on Matchday 3 gave them an impetus that eventually saw them through. A 5-1 victory against Panathinaikos FC meant that they finished with a flourish.

Two wins
• Bremen have twice won on Italian soil, the last occasion being the third round of the 1989/90 UEFA Cup when they overcame Napoli Soccer 3-2. In eight away fixtures they have encountered defeat on four occasions.

Knockout format
• Clubs play two matches against each other on a home and away basis, with the team scoring the greater aggregate of goals qualifying for the next round. In the event of both teams scoring the same number of goals, the team which scores more goals away qualifies. If this proves inconclusive, extra time of two periods of 15 minutes is played after the second match. If during extra time both teams score the same number of goals, the away goals count double (ie. the visiting team advances). If no goals are scored during extra time, the winner is decided by penalty kicks.

Last updated: 05/03/06 22.12CET

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