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Ranieri warns against repeat performance

Published: Wednesday 10 December 2008, 3.39CET
Juventus may be through to the UEFA Champions League knockout stage but, having already survived one scare against FC BATE Borisov in Group H, coach Claudio Ranieri is determined to avoid another one in Turin.
by Richard Aikman
from Turin
Ranieri warns against repeat performance
Claudio Ranieri knows BATE's threat only too well ©Getty Images

Tournament statistics

JuventusBATE

Goals scored9
 
3
Attempts on target39
 
13
Attempts off target41
 
33
Corners40
 
30
Offsides15
 
14
Fouls committed148
 
117
Yellow cards19
 
14
Red cards1
 
1
 
Published: Wednesday 10 December 2008, 3.39CET

Ranieri warns against repeat performance

Juventus may be through to the UEFA Champions League knockout stage but, having already survived one scare against FC BATE Borisov in Group H, coach Claudio Ranieri is determined to avoid another one in Turin.

His side may already have qualified for the UEFA Champions League knockout stage but, having endured one scare against FC BATE Borisov this season, Juventus coach Claudio Ranieri is determined to avoid another in Turin on Wednesday.

Scare
Juventus were firm favourites to overcome the competition debutants when they met in Minsk on Matchday 2, only to find themselves two goals down after 23 minutes thanks to strikes by Sergei Kryvets and Igor Stasevich. Vincenzo Iaquinta scored twice to ensure the Bianconeri returned home with a valuable point. Such has been their improvement since that a point on Matchday 6 will see the Italian club progress as Group H winners, but the BATE slip is not one they will forget in a hurry. "We remember the opening stages of the match in Minsk, when they flattened us and went 2-0 up," said Ranieri. "We can recall those scenes all too clearly.

'Under pressure'
"We were really under pressure," added the 57-year-old. "They were all helping each other out, diving into tackles and playing very well, so we must focus on the prospect of coming up against the same BATE Borisov that impressed us so much in the away leg." If Ranieri is concerned about the threat of the newly-crowned Belarussian champions, despite their being consigned to finishing bottom of the section, it may also have something to do with a seemingly ever-increasing injury list, Mauro Camoranesi the latest addition with a knock to his collarbone.

Amauri strike
Juve's panoply of injuries does not appear to have affected their form, though. On Sunday, Amauri's last-gasp header earned La Vecchia Signora their seventh win in eight Serie A outings, a 2-1 triumph at US Lecce. Sebastian Giovinco had opened the scoring with a stunning free-kick, his first Juve goal, but against BATE the set-piece duties are likely to go to fit-again Alessandro Del Piero. Another thirtysomething, Pavel Nedvĕd, is ready to play in central midfield as cover for the suspended Mohamed Sissoko should Cristiano Zanetti not pass a fitness test.

Rzhevski out
Juve's problems contrast markedly with the situation at BATE, who have a clean bill of health save for defender Vladimir Rzhevski, who broke his ankle against FC Zenit St. Petersburg on Matchday 4. Dmitri Likhtarovich is expected to recover from the head injury he received in the subsequent 1-0 loss against Real Madrid CF which condemned Viktor Goncharenko's men to a fourth-placed Group H finish.

Roman holiday
With the Vysshaya Liga having ended last month, BATE have been training in Italy, warming up for the Juve trip with a 1-0 friendly win against Serie B side Frosinone Calcio courtesy of Mikhail Sivakov's early strike. "We've had a great time training on fantastic pitches, and seeing the Roman ruins was fantastic," said Goncharenko. "We've bonded even more as a group and it's been a great way to round off our season. But we want to finish on a high note. It's amazing to be playing against a prestigious team like Juventus. We're disappointed we didn't edge the matches that were there for the taking, against Madrid and Zenit, but now we're just aiming to sign off in style."

Last updated: 10/12/08 21.10CET

http://www.uefa.com/uefachampionsleague/season=2009/matches/round=15276/match=302775/prematch/preview/index.html#ranieri+warns+against+repeat+performance

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