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Titans tussle in Turin

Published: Monday 18 October 2004, 21.45CET
Two of the great names of European football meet for the first time when Juventus FC face FC Bayern München.

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Published: Monday 18 October 2004, 21.45CET

Titans tussle in Turin

Two of the great names of European football meet for the first time when Juventus FC face FC Bayern München.

By Ivan Carvalho in Turin

Two of the great names of European football meet competitively for the first time on Tuesday, when Juventus FC go head-to-head with UEFA Champions League Group C rivals FC Bayern München at the Stadio Delle Alpi.

Perfect starts
These clubs have won six European Champion Clubs' Cups between them - including one each in the Champions League era - and hold maximum points in the pool, with neither having conceded so much as a goal against Maccabi Tel-Aviv FC or AFC Ajax. Still, both coaches are focusing on injury worries before a double-header that could secure one of these teams first place, as well as welcome bragging rights.

Trezeguet out
For Juventus, French striker David Trezeguet will be sidelined for at least three months following surgery on a dislocated shoulder that he reaggravated in a Serie A match against Udinese Calcio two weeks ago. However, fellow striker Alessandro Del Piero has recovered from an achilles problem and, according to coach Fabio Capello, could feature against Bayern.

Del Piero hope
"It will be up to him, since only he can say whether he still feels any pain," Capello said of a player who has not taken to the field since September. "If he is ready to go, I think he can start from the first minute."

Makaay threat
Bayern, meanwhile, are still without forwards Claudio Pizarro and Roque Santa Cruz, leaving the goalscoring burden to Dutchman Roy Makaay who delighted Bayern fans with a hat-trick in the 4-0 Matchday 2 demolition of Ajax. Makaay has claimed ten of his team's last 12 Champions League goals, and leads the overall standings in this season's competition with four strikes already. Coach Felix Magath can also count on Brazilian midfielder Zé Roberto, who was rested on Saturday as Bayern lost 1-0 at home to FC Schalke 04.

Magath optimistic
That result leaves Bayern adrift in the Bundesliga, in stark contrast to Juventus who are streaking ahead in Serie A after defeating FC Messina Peloro 2-1 at home. Magath, however, is striking an optimistic note. "Certainly Juventus are the favourites but that does not mean we are the underdogs," he said. "A draw would be good for us but we want to score goals here."

Kahn warning
Bayern goalkeeper Oliver Kahn admitted that Juventus would pose a huge threat, though. "You have to watch out because a team like Juventus can make a substitution in any position without being weakened," he said.

Hamburg winner
An amused Magath denied that his role in scoring the European Cup-winning goal for Hamburger SV against Juventus in 1983 would provide extra motivation for the Turin side. "Honestly I do not think any of the players then are around today," replied Magath after fielding several questions on the subject from the Italian media.

Thuram concern
It is Makaay's scoring prowess that worries Capello most, a thought shared by central defender Lilian Thuram who has been made captain for Tuesday by the coach. "Makaay shoots almost immediately he gets the ball and does well with both feet, so we have to be careful," the Frenchman said.

Staunch partnership
Thuram will therefore be grateful to have compatriot Jonathan Zebina back from domestic suspension, to continue a partnership that has conceded just two goals in eight matches since Zebina followed Capello from AS Roma to Juventus in the summer.

Last updated: 19/10/04 12.12CET