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Montero back for Juventus

Published: Wednesday 27 February 2002, 21.00CET features

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Published: Wednesday 27 February 2002, 21.00CET

Montero back for Juventus

With points at a premium in ultra-competitive Group D - all four sides are stuck on four apiece - a victory tonight is crucial to both side’s hopes of progressing. With that in mind, Juventus FC coach Marcello Lippi will be happy to see key players, Uruguayan Paolo Montero and Czech Republic midfield player Pavel Nedved, back after his side’s pallid performance in the 0-0 draw in Turin last week.

Three-man defence
Stalwart Montero returns from injury and joins Mark Iuliano and Ciro Ferrara in a three-man Juve defence, with Lilian Thuram dropping to the bench. Lippi has also called on young midfield player Enzo Maresca, who scored the 89th-minute equaliser in the Turin derby on Sunday, to take the place of Antonio Conte as the Italian coach goes on the attack.

‘More dangerous’
But it is the presence of Nedved, missing last week due to suspension, that has had the normally impenetrable Deportivo La Coruña coach Javier Irureta concerned. "Juventus are more dangerous away from home," he said. "They'll have Nedved back and we know he's an important player for their game. The Italians have good players up front and people pushing from deeper positions. That's a very good style to play away from home."

Trezeguet confident
The return of the Czech Republic international also has the Juventus striker David Trezeguet, top scorer in this season’s UEFA Champions League with eight goals from eight games, brimming with confidence.  "There is a real threat for us and Deportivo are a great side. But we are going there to win. We will go there with all our quality, take the three points and go back home," said the French striker.

Open game
Trezeguet has admitted he was disappointed by the team’s showing in last week’s stalemate, a match in which Del Piero came closest to breaking the deadlock for the Italians only to see his penalty saved superbly by José Molina. However Trezeguet believes the game will be far more open tonight. "Deportivo had us in difficulty in Turin and we didn't play well but I am sure we can do better. But they will play differently at home. They will be less defensive, less closed and that means they will give us more space," he said.

Irureta sticks to his guns
Irureta, for his part, welcomes centre-back Helder and midfield player Victor back from injuries and into the Deportivo squad, but he has stuck largely with the team that did so well last week. Brazilian forward Djalminha only finds a place on the substitutes' bench. After a victory over Real Zaragoza at the weekend and knowing that a win tonight will give his side the edge if the teams are level on points at the end of the second phase, he has every right to be confident.

Last updated: 16/11/12 4.34CET

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