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Juve need show of strength

Published: Monday 25 November 2002, 15.00CET
The lesson of history is that Juventus FC should beware RC Deportivo La Coruña.

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Published: Monday 25 November 2002, 15.00CET

Juve need show of strength

The lesson of history is that Juventus FC should beware RC Deportivo La Coruña.

Juventus FC have the weight of history - as well as RC Deportivo La Coruña - against them on Tuesday night when they launch their Group D campaign at the Riazor stadium.

Spanish strife
The Bianconeri visit a country where they have not won in 32 years, to face a team they have failed to beat in four previous UEFA Champions League matches. The sides met at the same stage last season, with Deportivo following up a goalless draw in Turin with a 2-0 victory in Galicia. The year before, meanwhile, Juventus were held home and away by Javier Irureta's men in the first group stage.

Tacchinardi 'desire'
The outcome of both sets of results was the Italian side's elimination. So it was no surprise to hear Juventus midfield player Alessio Tacchinardi speak of his club's "great desire to impress in Europe" this time round. "We know we are capable of getting a result wherever we go," he said. "Italian clubs are showing more character on their travels at the moment."

Barometer of Juve success
While Marcello Lippi's team topped their opening group, Tacchinardi insisted "the second phase" would be "the real test of our potential". "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. Tacchinardi will be one of few survivors from the eleven that drew 1-1 at home to Bologna FC on Saturday. Lippi rested several players, including Edgar Davids, Paolo Montero and Lilian Thuram, while Mauro Camoranesi, Alessandro Del Piero and Marco Di Vaio were second-half substitutes.

Lendoiro warning
Temporarily at least, Juventus surrendered the Serie A lead at the weekend. They will need all their resilience against Deportivo, however, according to the latter club's president Augusto César Lendoiro. "It is going to be very difficult to qualify but Manchester United [FC] and Juventus won't find it easy either as both have experienced defeat against Deportivo."

Scaloni all set
The Primera División outfit experienced victory in their last Italian encounter - the 2-1 Matchday 6 win at AC Milan which assured their progress into a group which also includes FC Basel. And for this one, coach Irureta will name a virtually unchanged lineup from Saturday's 1-1 draw at Sevilla FC. Lionel Scaloni's inclusion for Héctor Berenguel at right-back is the only expected alteration, so César Martín and Enrique Romero should continue in central defence with Nourredine Naybet and Donato Gama out injured.

Deportivo's attacking threat
Meanwhile, Diego Tristán will pose the attacking threat alongside the in-form Roy Makaay. The former registered against Juventus last season, while Dutchman Makaay will overtake the Brazilian Bebeto as the club's top European goalscorer if he scores on Tuesday. Juventus have been warned.

Last updated: 27/11/02 1.33CET